As COVID-19 has disrupted the value chain of the MSMEs especially handloom, handicrafts, and food processing, many regional women have carved a niche with acquired skills and unabating grit.
Over 150 social entrepreneurs were given a leg up under the UNDP-EXIM Bank Project- enhancing their market skills and export competitiveness. Response under the project has expanded opportunities for MSMEs to overcome challenges to scale by re-skilling women weavers in making PPE kits to meet demand due to COVID-19, as per John Borgoyary – Regional Head, UNDP India, North East Region.
There are many regional women entrepreneurs who managed to sustain well even in the scourge of pandemic, Ms. K. Lalmuanpuii’s entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity made her start making handloom masks and PPE kit. Lenbuang was selected as a recognized PPE Kit manufacturer by Mizoram state.
Ms. K. Lalmuanpuii, was engaged as a master trainer by the Mizoram Handloom & Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd. (ZOHANDCO) to train weavers of the Aizawl District in manufacturing of PPE KITs under Committee on Promotion of Locally Manufactured Protective Gear, Govt. of Mizoram.
Apart from this, re-skilling of artisans on making Khumbeu – Traditional Mizo Bamboo Hat also helps revive and protect the traditional craftsmanship and generating livelihoods.
‘Chizami Weaves’ is another dedicated organization promoting and preserving the unique textile tradition of Nagaland, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for economically marginalized women in the region. Chizami Weaves was started by the North East Network (NEN).