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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Indian Micro Enterprises Development Foundation

Development Alternatives (
Private sector

    Indian Micro Enterprises Development foundation (IMEDF) is a special purpose vehicle of the Development Alternatives Group that accelerates the development of micro-enterprises at scale. It is also the Nodal Agency of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, for the development of clusters under SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries). Under SFURTI, collective enterprises are set up and supported where the major beneficiaries of the program are farmers and artisans. The scheme supports beneficiaries to construct shared infrastructure and access finance to purchase machinery and equipment (@ Rs 50,000 per artisan). It further empowers them through formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a platform through which entrepreneurs manage their finances and day to day activities in the cluster.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    The implementation of the project is done as per steps mentioned below: 1) Mapping of potential sector based clusters and farmers/artisans; assessment of need and potential for cluster development is identified. 2) Implementing agency, the grassroot NGO working directly with the farmers and artisans, prepares a concept note highlighting how the scheme can create sustained revenue for marginalized farmers and artisans. 3) The nodal agency, IMEDF, assesses the viability of the project depending on expected impacts in terms of incomes, social inclusion and environmental footprints. 4) A detailed project report is prepared and shared with the ministry. After endorsement by the Ministry of MSME, the implementation commences. 5) The project is then executed by farmers and artisans through special purpose vehicles, after which production is initiated, supply chains and market linkages are set up. During the entire project, the central focus for implementation is on inclusion of marginalized farmers and artisans that specifically include women, tribal communities and other backward classes. In addition to creation of assets and market linkages, major focus is on building capacities for beneficiaries so that there can be sustained impacts. IMEDF as the nodal agency monitors and evaluates progress and impacts on a regular basis.


    Immediate outputs perceived from the program include creation of infrastructure for farmers and artisans thereby increasing incomes. However, there are number of other indirect impacts mentioned as under: 1) Economic Impacts – The scheme supports 21 clusters, directly involved with the livelihoods of more than 14,000 farmers and artisans across India, of which 6000 are women. It aims to double the income of beneficiaries in 5 years of its incorporation. On an average, the income increase per entrepreneur ranges from Rs.3500/month to Rs.8000/month. The scheme has also been able to provide livelihood opportunities for those involved indirectly with the clusters like suppliers, construction workforce, etc. 2) Social and cultural impacts – The scheme through its 21 clusters focuses on enhancing livelihoods of women. Four clusters are women-led, where women comprise the majority and lead its management. Additionally, the women-led clusters are within tribal communities providing access to equal opportunity for dignified livelihoods in contrast to the part-time ad-hoc employment they were involved in before the set-up of the clusters. The women are empowered to take decisions and actively participate in the community. 3) Environmental impact – The clusters are now moving towards sustainability through making use of renewable energy sources, waste management, eco-friendly packaging, rain water harvesting, soil conservation, etc. as part of infrastructure and production processes. Natural dye Cluster in Karnataka is amongst many other clusters that have shifted to using eco-friendly construction material and locally available mud for plastering of walls with an aim to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The following enabling factors and constraints are key to development of clusters leading to inclusion of marginalized farmers and artisans: Enablers: - Ownership of traditional knowledge and skills by the farmers and artisans - Availability of raw material for production in the area - Partnerships and Collaborations: Grass root experience of implementing agencies and technical expertise of technical agencies contributing in enhanced outputs Constraints: - Technology required for production - operations and identification of markets - Certifications and approvals for sector specific projects - Intervention of Eco-friendly packaging

    Sustainability and replicability

    1. Considering the bigger aims of SDGs, the intervention of working with artisans and farmers in a collective manner provides a model for sustainable development. 2. Presence of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) ensures sustainability of the enterprise over time. 3. Optimum use of locally available resources keeps a check on sustainability reducing the carbon footprint. 4. Involvement of local people in the enterprises gives ownership and decision making power in their hands with positive attribution in deferring migration, thereby ensuring long term feasibility of projects. 5. Clusters are producing ecologically sustainable, environmentally friendly, non-polluting, fair trade products by using bamboo, banana fiber, Lac, lemon grass, etc. This not just creates Eco-friendliness, but also has a sound business proposition of catering to a niche growing consumer segment. Replicaibility model: Keeping in mind diverse factors while setting up a cluster like demographics, climate, availability of natural resources, government administration and interest of beneficiaries, the projects usually possess the potential of being replicated to other regions. Detailed project report (DPR) acts as a first hand knowledge base in understanding a project in detail, following which the needs of the region can be identified and resource identification can be done. An extensive field research is conducted by the implementing and technical agencies to ensure feasibility of the project in a new area.

    Other sources of information

    IMEDF documents its work on various internal platforms: 1. IMEDF INSIGHTS , which is a newsletter portraying progress of clusters and stories from the ground 2. Social media platforms including instagram Twitter , where the recent highlights get covered.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Survey reports have shown that disruptions caused by the COVID19 pandemic have impacted MSMEs earnings by 20-50%, wherein micro and small enterprises faced the maximum heat, mainly due to liquidity crunch. But clusters in the project showed high levels of resilience wherein 6 clusters became operational during this phase and the remaining 10 clusters continued activities at a fast pace. It includes construction of infrastructure and skill training that were conducted keeping in mind the COVID19 protocols. People that came back to their villages due to lock down got employment in and around their villages which helped in keeping a check on reverse migration. In addition to this, cultivation of agro-based products and production processes were also continued, keeping the livelihood of artisans and farmers alive.

    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    24 October 2017 (start date)
    10 June 2021 (date of completion)
    Development Alternatives
    Other beneficiaries

    Key beneficiaries, stakeholders and partnerships are: - Ministry of MSME – Government agency provides grant for cluster development - Nodal Agencies – Interface between government, implementing agencies and technical agencies to expedite cluster development. - Technical Agencies – Provide technological support on the subject matter of their expertise - Implementation agencies – Grass root NGOs involved in implementation of project - Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV): Platform owned by artisans and farmers to manage cluster finances and day to day activities.

    More information
    Contact Information

    Col Raman, Indian Micro Enterprises Development Foundation (IMEDF)