Nagaland: Women street vendors receive QR codes to boost digital payments

Kohima: 26 women street vendors at Sokhriezie Market in Kohima, Nagaland, received QR codes on Wednesday as part of the ‘Digitalisation Initiative’ for women vendors by the Entrepreneurs Associates (tEA) under the “Uplifting Women Street Vendors program”.

According to the tEA, this is an initiative to connect with the women in their workstations and make their program an integral part of their work life.

A brief program was held with an invocation by Evangelist Shetoli Swu, from Cross Wonder Church. Addressing the gathering, tEA’s Operations Supervisor, Chunjanglu Gracy emphasised tEA’s commitment to empower women vendors across the state and beyond, sharing that the QR code stands were being provided to simplify transactions for women street vendors and include them in the digitalisation process.

Highlighting the need for women to update their skills to remain relevant in evolving markets, Gracy added that for the upcoming festive season, the usage of the QRs will be profitable for the women as tourists visit the state. She also expressed her excitement about finally turning this much-awaited initiative into a reality.

Upon receiving the QR codes, many women expressed their gratitude towards tEA for the assistance.

Soneinuo Metha (54) expressed delight and shared, “Earlier, some of the customers would come and leave without buying, as they would not carry cash and I didn’t have a QR code scanner. But now, I’m confident that my sales will be bountiful owing to this.”

Another vendor, Asanuo Kerestu, 32, noted, “My customers used to have issues with online payment through my phone due to poor network connection in the market, but now with the QR code they can easily make their payments. I will forever be indebted to tEA for this assistance.”

Anungla Longmisa, a vendor from Sokhriezie Market, received her first digital transaction of Rs 700 within the first hour, followed by a second transaction of Rs 100, bringing smiles to the tEA staff present.

The women street vendors who received QR codes were from various locations, including Officers Hill, Red Cross, Upper Chandmari, South Police Market, Red Cross, South Point Market, New Ministers Hill, PR Hill, Bamboo Market, and Sokhrieze Market.

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The Uplifting Women Street Vendors Program is a flagship program of The Entrepreneurs Associates, launched in October 2017, to empower women involved in the network of marketing farm produce. The program engages with women street vendors, producers who also sell their yields, and aggregators who link rural products with the urban markets.

Till date, tEA has trained and worked with 7000 women street vendors in Nagaland, Manipur and Assam with plans to spread to other states in the North East over the next year. Under the program, tEA has been providing training on financial & business management, skills training, Health and legal services, mentorship and linkages to markets and Zero Interest Loans. tEA hopes that by 2024, 10,000 women street vendors will be impacted under the program.

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