Micro-enterprises of the poor that are developed as part of poverty alleviation programmes often face serious operational challenges. Persistent hand-holding and capacity building support are needed to ensure these enterprises evolve into sustainable sources of livelihood for the poor. Based on this understanding, the Micro Enterprise Consultant (MEC) project focusses on developing field level structures which can provide multi-dimensional support to the rural micro enterprises of the poor.
As part of the MEC project, individuals are identified and trained from local communities to become Micro-enterprise Consultants. The MEC are responsible for providing hand-holding support to potential and existing rural entrepreneurs on a chargeable basis. The MECs are also encouraged to partner each other and form firms that leverage their diverse skill sets. These MEC firms offer a wide range of business consulting services to rural entrepreneurs. To provide rural entrepreneurs support services such as performance tracking of their enterprises and micro-enterprise accounting, the MEC project introduced an IT enabled real-time information system called Performance Tracking System (PTS) in its pilot locations. Since enterprises form a valuable part of the diverse pool of livelihoods that poor families depend on, the project envisages linking the Community Based Organisations (CBO) with MEC Firms to create mechanisms for the promotion of enterprise development among the poor in its pilot locations.
The MEC project has been implemented in six states across India including Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan on a pilot basis.
|No. of partner states||6|
|No. of districts||17|
|No. of blocks||180|
|No. of gram panchayats||6014|
|No of MEC trained||684|
|No. of mentors||14|