Self Help Group (SHG) concept is one of the successful models in Tamil Nadu. This has been introduced to give a chance to women from economically weaker sections to improve their ilk and also boost their confidence level by enabling them to be self-sustained.
This inference has been made by a few students of KPR School of Business who have done a study on SHG women. In it they have made a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the SHG concept.
Under each heading, the students have listed out nearly 10 points to show that there are almost equal number of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the concept and hence it has to be used in the right manner to bring the maximum benefit to the women.
Gaining confidence, voicing out opinions, willingness to be self-sufficient, seeking support from the Government, applying for loan, and working in teams, have been listed as strengths.
Lack of health and hygiene, lack of knowledge about procurement of raw materials and marketing skills, etc., have been listed as weaknesses. The threats include poor literacy, ignorance of work techniques, lack of motivation from male members of family, rising number of malls, presence of middlemen, discounts by competitors, etc.
But the opportunities listed out show an optimistic impact of the concept on the women. It says women entrepreneurs can be developed through SHGs, many enterprises can be developed using the SHG concept, this will also lead to establishing of new ventures such as crèches, pre-primary schools that will give opportunities for the women to develop their personality. .
Students have recorded the observation that SHG movement is increasingly accepted as an innovation in the field of rural credit in many developing countries including India to help the rural poor.
True to this, the women use their talent to make things like soft toys, jute bags, floral decorations, toiletries, artificial jewellery, and many more.
And, for this, SHG is considered a vehicle to reach these women, to enable them avail of credit facility from banks, which in the normal course as individuals they would not have been able to.