Project Maitri: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in North-East India with MakeMyTrip

MakeMyTrip, a leading online travel platform, has partnered with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), incubated under Niti Aayog, to launch ‘Project Maitri’. This project is a significant initiative to support and empower women entrepreneurs in the North-East region of India, particularly in the hospitality sector.

‘Project Maitri’ is aimed at leveraging the untapped potential of homestays as a pathway to entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, and independence for women in the North-Eastern states. The project focuses on providing training, mentorship, and access to markets to women entrepreneurs, with a special emphasis on hospitality, finance, and marketing. Selected participants in this project will receive specialized training tailored to their unique business needs, covering a wide array of skills such as hospitality, safety, digital marketing, and compliance. Additionally, the top three homestay owners will be recognized with awards, further incentivizing excellence and innovation in this sector​​​​​​.

The launch event for ‘Project Maitri’, titled ‘Enabling Women-Led Development in Arunachal’, was held at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center in Itanagar. The event was attended by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, signifying the state’s commitment to gender-balanced progress​​​​.

Applications for this transformative program are set to open on December 13, 2023, on the WEP website. Rajesh Magow, co-founder and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip, expressed pride in partnering with WEP for this endeavor and highlighted the project’s alignment with the transformative power of travel. He looked forward to seeing these women entrepreneurs flourish and contribute to the diversity of India’s tourism industry​​​​.

Anna Roy, Mission Director of WEP, emphasized the strategic approach of the project in bolstering women’s entrepreneurship. She noted that it aligns with national goals of gender equality and economic development and has the potential to evolve homestays into a viable and lucrative business avenue for women seeking financial independence​​​​.

WEP, which has transitioned into a public-private partnership, offers a comprehensive solution for information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs. This includes a SmartMatch-based platform for government schemes and private sector initiatives, a knowledge base, and a community platform providing resources like mentorship and capacity building. Through its collaboration with MakeMyTrip, WEP is leading efforts to create an ecosystem conducive to women’s entrepreneurial success​​​​​​.

‘Project Maitri’ represents a significant step towards empowering women entrepreneurs in the North-East, providing them with the skills and resources needed to succeed in the burgeoning homestay sector and contribute meaningfully to India’s tourism industry.



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