The economy in Bhikamkor relies heavily on agriculture. Because of this, people suffer greatly during times of drought or low yield seasons. There is a need to diversify the village’s economy and provide more opportunities for employment and income generation. In addition, the social and cultural context of the village restricts women from fully participating in society. Women are expected to stay in their homes and fulfil the household duties, which impedes their opportunity to achieve financial independence and the benefits that come with it.
IPHD saw great potential in partnering with women in Bhikamkor to establish micro-enterprises, and founded the Bhikamkor Entrepreneurial Development (BED) program in the village. Through providing comprehensive business training, a micro loan and continued support, IPHD has been able to assist women in Bhikamkor to open their own businesses. The BED program is empowering women in the Bhikamkor community and helping them to achieve financial independence. Further, these new businesses help to diversify and stimulate the local economy, delivering benefits across the community. Two rounds of BED have successfully been completed in 2016, serving 7 women. IPHD now looks to further expand and develop BED in 2017.