In India, millions of people are engaged in economic activities and have the second-largest workforce in the world. Yet, women only make up a small amount of this workforce.
ZingnZest is a social entrepreneurship initiative to Empower women from economically weaker backgrounds and provide work opportunities to them.
The Beginning of ZingnZest
Access Development Services has worked on many social issues before. They felt the need to start an enterprise to support women. In 2006, ZingnZest was conceived and developed by Access Development Services. Citi Foundation also supported this startup.
In the beginning, only 25 women were a part of the startup. ZingnZest was setup in Chandu, Haryana. A member of the Access Development services mentioned, “In the last few decades, women empowerment has been about training women in pickle and papad making. We wanted to do something different.”
The beneficiaries of ZingnZest make and manufacture a variety of products. They make items like oatmeal cookies, choco chip cookies, walnut cookies, etc. The products made are ready to eat, hygienic, tasty, and of high quality.
Women are specially trained to make these cookies. Women are moving in to create something different from Pickles and Papads. Cookies are more sellable and in demand by the consumers.
The major difficulty that the social enterprise faced was in marketing and brand building. The team has made efforts to deal with the challenges. They have set a proper production center with all the required machines and types of equipment. The team sends products to the right target market.
Annamaya, a restaurant in Delhi, has also collaborated with ZingnZest. They offer cookies supplied by ZingnZest, with tea and coffee to all the customers. Ode to Earth, a goods store in Delhi, has also collaborated with ZingnZest.
Babita, a beneficiary who works at ZingnZest, mentioned,
“It feels great to be a part of this initiative. I have become financially independent. From the money I earn, I support my family. Women should get a chance to prove themselves. In the beginning, people in the village mocked us. They thought it won’t be a success. But now, they respect us for our work. The condition in the village has changed. Women are being given opportunities to work.”
Future Vision of ZingnZest
The social enterprise aims to empower and provide financial independence to women from lower sections of society. The startup aims to recruit, train and empower women to become business owners. The vision is to create work opportunities for women.