Foundation in News                        Initiatives admist Covid-19
Earlier Projects
International Finance Corporation (IFC) - Knowledge partner ACCION

The Project objective was to support the roll out of an effective and sustainable financial awareness delivery program for low income households, thereby improving the quality of financial services offered among Financial Institutions (FIs) working with low income beneficiaries. Project targeted to cover 15,000 beneficiaries through 8 locations across eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Knowledge toolkits and methodologies were jointly developed in association with ACCION India for imparting financial awareness. The 7 modules developed under the project comprises of contents on Financial Planning, Cash Flow & Budgeting, Savings, Debt, Insurance, Investment and Banking.

During the project period from May 2014 to March 2016, a total of 22,193 members had registered for the financial literacy program. Out of these, 19,856 had successfully completed the training. The members who attended at least 5 modules out of the 7, were considered as trained.

With the assistance of ACCION India, a comprehensive web based MIS system was developed for monitoring the field team. The trainers were assigned User IDs and passwords for the same. All registration forms were entered into the system and daily attendance was marked for each batch. Web based MIS platform made the process of project monitoring timely and effective.

Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) and ACCION - Financial Education for underserved beneficiaries.

The project aims to develop the capacity of Utkarsh Welfare Foundation to offer financial education program for low-income women with, thus creating awareness and demand for financial services in the market. ACCION (technical resource partner) will train UWF’s Master Trainers in its proven financial education curriculum. Further, the master trainers will be capacitated to train future UWF trainers. Moreover, a hotline is already in place to receive calls from the beneficiaries for providing advices on financial products and services suiting their requirements. One model Community Shop will be established in the project area to provide information on appropriate range of financial products and services.

This project is being implemented in two phases. The project aims to cover 28,000 beneficiary during the entire project period, out of which a minimum of 50% beneficiaries are expected to adopt new financial products. Upon intervention completion, Utkarsh Welfare Foundation should be in a position to continue training its staff with ACCION’s methodology for delivering high quality financial literacy trainings to low-income beneficiaries and also for providing advice. This will increase beneficiaries’ uptake of financial products and services. Moreover, beneficiaries will be better able to understand managing their finances and use financial products.

In the first phase of project implementation (April 2015 to December 2015), the project aimed to cover 13,000 beneficiaries through Class Room Trainings and Mass Awareness Programs. At the completion of first phase, 11,689 beneficiaries outreach was achieved with both the intervention approaches.

In the ongoing second phase (January 2016 to December 2016), the project aims to cover 15,000 beneficiaries, of which, 11,000 will be covered through Class Room Trainings and 4,000 through Mass Awareness Programs.

At the successful completion of the project the total beneficiary outreach for the project period April 2015 to December 31, 2016 through class room training approach is 20,377 and through Mass Awareness Programs is 9157.

FMO (Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank) and ACCION - Financial Education for Beneficiaries

Despite enhanced access to financial services in India, availing and consumption of services has remained a challenge. Also the access to microfinance services has not been able to address the multidimensional aspects of poverty. Given this context, education on financial literacy is integral to continued growth, long-term success and sustainability of the micro enterprises in the society.

The project aims to provide financial literacy to 23,200 rural beneficiaries. Two approaches have been adopted for providing financial literacy. It is proposed to cover 13,200 target beneficiaries through class room trainings and 10,000 additional beneficiaries shall be reached through mass awareness program. This project is being implemented during March 2016 to March 2017.

Total beneficiary outreach as at March 31, 2017 through class room training approach has been 13,214 and through mass awareness program has been 10142.

SIDBI - Poorest States Inclusive Growth Programme (PSIG) - Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment Initiatives
Pilot Project

SIDBI-Poorest State Inclusive Growth Programme (PSIG) endeavours to focus specifically on women’s empowerment through microfinance interventions including financial literacy programme and capacity building of women beneficiaries on social, gender and legal rights and entitlements issues. The project aims to institutionalise capacity building program for the microfinance beneficiaries through partner MFIs. The project is also being supported by Department for International Development (DFID). It was launched through 7 MFIs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to cover 60,000 beneficiaries.

At Utkarsh, the pilot project was implemented through 16 locations with the support of 22 Master Trainers. Concepts on Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment were imparted to 16,500 members across 2 districts Deoria and Ghazipur of Uttar Pradesh and 3 districts of Bihar Arrah, Kaimur and Sant Ravidas Nagar.

At the closure of the project as on March 31, 2016, a total of 15,741 beneficiaries were trained on the concepts of financial literacy and women empowerment. A pool of 22 Master Trainers (MT) from Utkarsh Welfare Foundation were trained through Training of Trainers (TOT) and Refresher Trainings in three phase program. Each of the trained MT received 26 days of training and each of the targeted microfinance beneficiary received 27 hours of training inputs spread over the project period delivered in three phases.

Scale up project

Currently, the project is in scale-up phase and aims to extend the program through 30 new location locations through 30 Master Trainers in 15 months timeline up-to July 2017. Each of the MTs are expected to undergo 15 days TOT and Refresher Trainings. Web based MIS system is used for effective monitoring and evaluation of the project. The project entails collection of baseline data and training of 23,525 new beneficiaries and end line data collection of 15,000 beneficiaries from the pilot project through open data kit based mobile handsets.

Vocational Training on Agarbatti rolling & Market Linkages

The project was undertaken with an objective to provide training, technical knowhow, credit and market linkages facility to the poor women in rural areas to enable them to enhance their household income. The aim of this initiative was to encourage entrepreneurial activities among the poor, with focus on providing the family with an additional source of income.

Keeping this in mind, Utkarsh Welfare Foundation started imparting providing training on "Agarbatti" making to the underprivileged women and linking it to the market. Continuous training on incense stick production was imparted in almost twenty villages of Harahua block, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh. The project was implemented during May 2011 to March 2014. Around 400 members were trained and 249 quintals of agarbatti produced by the beneficiaries were linked to market.

Solar Light Project

With an objective to promote clean and green energy, solar light initiative was undertaken through 11 locations across eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Around 3,800 beneficiaries were enrolled under this project. Project was implemented in association with Greenlight Planet which is a for-profit-social-business that develops and manufactures honest, reliable solar products designed to help people living off the electric grid. Project was implemented during December 2013 to March 2015.