We believe that comprehensive socio-economic development of villages will be a key driver of growth in India going forward. ICICI Digital Village encompasses a host of initiatives including making the local economy vibrant, improving the income level of villagers through focus on locally relevant skills, making the villagers financially independent and reducing migration.
ICICI Digital Village initiative has multiple dimensions:
- Access to seamless and digital banking: Enabling rural population to use digital channels for financial transactions and commercial activities
- Livelihood based vocational skill development, facilitating credit and market linkages.
ICICI Foundation imparts free-of-cost vocational skill building programme at ICICI Digital Village through a comprehensive model:
Diversified Selection Ensuring Enhanced Participation
We reach out to eligible participants through multiple channels such as the ICICI Group network, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Self Help Groups (SHGs); through direct community outreach at villages, local educational institutions; and through candidate referrals. These participants are then put through a selection process.
Skill Development to Provide Sustained Means of Livelihood
Post selection, ICICI Foundation maps existing skills of the participants to the skill requirements of the local village economy. We then offer need-based livelihood training programmes for the participants to enhance their existing skills / develop new skills. There is a special focus on agriculture and dairy related courses in view of the large dependence on these sectors and regular demand for agri and dairy products.
Facilitate Financial Inclusion & Establish Credit Linkages
To ensure financial inclusion and facilitate credit linkages, we engage with the trainees during the training period itself. Along with imparting financial literacy, the trainees are made aware of the savings, credit, insurance and other products offered by the Bank. Their bank accounts are opened using Aadhar-based e-KYC. We facilitate the formation of SHGs and Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) by the villagers, and then offer loans to the members. Loans are advanced to boost self-employment opportunities for the villagers, helping them to attain economic sustainability.
Facilitate Market Linkages
To ensure a steady market for the products and services of the trainees, we help forge trade relationships between the participants, small producers, local firms and cooperatives and other market participants.
Hand-holding for Participants
After the completion of the training, the livelihood growth of all trained participants are monitored for a year. We capture changes in the income and the issues faced and provide support to the trainees.
Entrepreneurship Development Programme
An EDP module is included in the curriculum for all the skill building programmes, imparting knowledge on the concept of entrepreneurship, its challenges and prospects. This module helps the trainees from a rural background with the concepts of entrepreneurship, risk taking ability, goal setting, procedure and formalities of setting of an enterprise, etc.