Reliance Foundation, USAID Announce Winners of WomenConnect Challenge India Round Two

Reliance Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today the grant winners of Round Two of the WomenConnect Challenge India, which aims to close the gender digital divide in India and enable women to fully participate in the global economy.

Seven social sector organisations were selected out of more than 260 applicants for an award of up to INR 1 Crore each (approximately $120,000) in grants from Reliance Foundation to address barriers that limit women’s access to technology. The United States government partnered with Reliance Foundation to reach and support women entrepreneurs, farmers, women-led micro enterprises and collectives, and self-help groups to provide mentoring support from experts and practitioners across India.
The winners were announced on Wednesday at an event ‘Accelerating Digital Inclusion: Bridging the Gender Digital Divide in India’ that brought together key experts and organisations.

Speaking at the event, USAID Mission Director Veena Reddy said, “USAID is excited to be building on the success of Round One of the WomenConnect Challenge India. Round Two projects will accelerate progress to bridge the digital gap by expanding access to digital tools, specialised training, and business opportunities.”

Jagannatha Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Foundation, said, “We saw this through the innovative approaches to digital inclusion that were incubated in Round One of the WomenConnect Challenge India. Through WomenConnect Challenge India Round Two, Reliance Foundation in partnership with USAID aims to build on the momentum generated, to positively impact over 350,000 women and their communities.”

The winners of Round Two are:

● The Goat Trust, which will build digital skills of community livestock care providers who provide business services to women livestock farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

● M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, which will build capacity of women collectives in post-harvest fisheries on a range of ICT technologies and innovations in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry.

● Manjari Foundation, which will train rural women from women collectives on digital literacy, usage of digital services, and promote entrepreneurship opportunities in Rajasthan.

Digital Empowerment Foundation, which will train and facilitate access to digital connectivity and services for women in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

Seven Sisters Development Assistance, which will promote use of technology among women self-help groups and adolescent girls from indigent and marginalized families in Assam.

● ACCESS Development Services, which will provide app-based training to women entrepreneurs in Rajasthan.

● Yugantar, which will promote financial and digital inclusion through games, videos and other interactive tools in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

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