Exploring pedagogical innovations for micro/small entrepreneurship training to SHG members through Open Distance Learning

Chandraiah, Esampally
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In India, micro credit has been working largely through self-help groups (SHG), predominated by women. However, microfinance and skill building through micro-entrepreneurship education of rural poor are big challenges to alleviate poverty. // Pilot study with the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) reveals that there are over 3 million SHGs in India and 1030092 (1.03 million) comprising of more than one crore members in SHGs in Andhra Pradesh State, India. Literate, illiterate and semi-literate women engage in small business activities. Most of the members of SHGs are in below poverty line (BPL) and lack skill/knowledge about operations of micro/small business activities. // In this direction, the Department of Commerce, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Open University proposes to offer a “Certificate/Diploma Program in Micro-entrepreneurship” through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode to improve functional abilities of micro-entrepreneurs and to devise new ways to excel in their small business plans. It is proposed to deliver education through community centres by using mobile study centres and appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs). // The objectives of the study are: i. To examine the role microfinance in the micro-entrepreneurship activities of SHGs; ii. To study the literacy status of micro-entrepreneurs and their training needs; iii. To find out whether teaching-learning through ODL mode can be tailored to meet the needs of micro-entrepreneurs; iv. To suggest a training model for micro-entrepreneurship education through ODL system. // This paper therefore is expected to inform: (i) Educational planners – on how to design pedagogy to promote required skills to micro-entrepreneurs at different levels through ODL system. (ii) Micro-entrepreneurs – on how to improve their understanding of micro-financial products and commencement and maintenance of micro/small business activities. // The focus group technique will be used to bring together some select micro-entrepreneurs in Andhra Pradesh to answer the questions asked and to discuss specifically on identified areas. // Paper ID: 28
Skills Development, Entrepreneurship, Open and Distance Learning (ODL)