Non-farm Based Livelihoods

Sustain Plus is focussed on enabling micro-entrepreneurship based livelihoods solutions in rural and peri-urban areas. It addresses energy gaps in businesses that reduce productivity, encourages women and men to become asset owners, and reduces the employment gap by supporting other income generating opportunities within the existing business and in the clean energy-zero emission mobility sector. With a gendered approach, it supports these enterprises to expand and diversify their businesses, addresses loss in opportunities due to lack of energy, increases footfalls by enhancing users’ access to businesses, and helps shift from manual to technical solutions.

Need Gaps

The Rural Non-Farm Sector in India with its diverse range of economic activities provides a source of income for non-farm households and small and marginal farmers, thereby playing an important role in generating rural employment. Even though the income and productivity from these activities are not homogenous, these household and non-household level enterprises can help bridge the urban-rural gap and stop migration to urban and commercial centres. However, the Rural-Non-Farm-Sector has been unable to effectively grow as a potential employment generator in rural India due to the lack of basic infrastructure, electricity and communication facilities, and lack of access to finance, information, and skilled labour. Most enterprises, therefore, operate at sub-optimal levels resulting in loss of income and opportunity.

The COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 worsened this situation as it created an unprecedented reverse migration of daily wage earners from cities back to their villages increasing unemployment and further putting pressure on local rural economies.

Our Approach

Energising Rural Enterprises

To strengthen support services, optimise expenses, and enhance serviceability and operational efficacy, Sustain Plus aids existing rural enterprises, small shops, and market hubs with access to clean energy and technology solutions to address energy gaps. These solutions have helped these enterprises achieve their potential by diversifying and adding services—the opportunity for which was not accessible to them earlier—and also shifting many from manual operation and labour to customized technical solutions.

Addressing Rural Connectivity
Sustain Plus leverages its partners’ support to aid in improving entrepreneurial opportunities around existing hubs and businesses by addressing connectivity and logistic gaps, enhancing serviceability, and increasing footfalls. Through linkages with financial institutions and government schemes, it helps unlock access to finance that enable women and men entrepreneurs to own and operate solar powered E-rickshaws, thereby improving mobility of people, especially women and helping them access services easily and safely.

Case studies

Improving income in prime hub in Meghalaya

SHG run e-rickshaw service for women

Lok Seva Kendra