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Building an Ecosystem for Gender-Responsive & Climate-Resilient MSMEs In India

After agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is the principal sector engaging the female labor force in India. About 20.37% of the total MSME enterprises in India are currently owned and operated by women, several of which operate on a micro scale in rural locations. Women’s entrepreneurship is particularly higher in states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, but their participation in the MSME workforce continue to remain persistently lower, as compared to other developing countries. Currently, there are several policies at the national and sub-national level looking to increase women’s representation in the Indian labor force, but women constitute only 24% of the total MSME workforce. Increasing women’s share in the MSME sector is essential to harness equitable economic gains and facilitate social transformation at scale.

Climate change has emerged as one of the main challenges as the sector continues to see unprecedented changes and needs to quickly adapt to several ongoing transitions such as energy transition, digitalization, and changes in value chains. In sectors like agriculture women have typically borne a greater brunt of climate change impacts, and if measures are not taken to address their needs, they may continue to be left behind in the ongoing transitions in the MSME sector.

Continuing the conversation from the first webinar on ‘Gendered Pathways for Just Transition for Indian MSMEs’, WRI India is convening this second webinar to discuss experiences and insights from the MSME sector and deliberate on how to support women entrepreneurs and workers to strengthen their resilience to climate change.

This event brings together a panel of speakers from government organizations, industry associations, MSME leadership, and civil society organizations. The speakers will share examples and insights of their engagement with the MSME sector with a focus on responding to the needs of women entrepreneurs and workers.


  • Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, Additional Chief Secretary, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Govt. of Karnataka
  • Michelle Armstrong, Executive Director, Ares Charitable Foundation
  • Sijo John, LEAD KREA
  • Anubha Prasad, Assistant General Manager, SIDBI
  • Sharmila Barathan, President-Corporate Affairs & Policy, General Electric South Asia
  • Shikha Joshi, SEWA Bharat
  • Ankita Saxena, Pratibha Syntex
  • Sunaina Kumar, Senior Fellow, ORF and Executive Director at Think20 India Secretariat (Moderator)

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