Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS)


Self Help Groups

BREADS has used the proven developmental strategy of small collectives effectively in its work with women and children. A small group is an ideal means for empowering interventions because it helps people experience individual effectiveness while also impacting others and the community at large.

Women’s self-help groups provide a platform for social support and peer assistance, a space to learn new skills in a group and through peer learning, and these groups can evolve into agents of power for negotiation of rights in a given social setup. BREADS supports and sustains women’s groups through empowerment and awareness programmes, skilling and income generation initiatives.


Women from lower economic backgrounds are not often equipped with education, skills or community support to create improvements in their lives for themselves. BREADS provides skilling opportunities for women geared towards income generation and livelihoods, with components of life skills in the trainings. Young women with minimum educations are offered employment-oriented training in the service sectors with computers, hospitality, retail, BPO etc., while others can avail of production and entrepreneurship skilling to promote self-employment and business enterprises.


Women Empowerment through Livelihood and Entrepreneurship (WELivE), is an initiative by BREADS especially for women, who are marginalised on counts of poverty, gender, caste, and opportunities for growth. WELivE aims to promote sustainable income for rural women in Karnataka and Kerala through entrepreneurship development and social empowerment. This initiative of BREADS in partnership with local Don Bosco institutions was particularly relevant because of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The WELivE objective to create diversified income sources linked to food security was significant for women to convert their usually unpaid household labour into profitable ventures. Organic kitchen gardens, livestock and poultry rearing, small fisheries and small-scale entrepreneurial ventures related to these operations, become sustainable sources of food and income for them and their families. These little ventures may well be the difference between having something and having nothing. And this difference matters greatly in the lives of those with whom BREADS works.


BREADS and its partner Fisherman Community Development Programme (FCDP), Kollam explored the possibility of using e-autorickshaws to empower women, balancing their livelihood activities while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. The WE AUTO initiative not only helps promote clean energy and its associated industries, but also works towards the larger goal of sustainable cities. Owing to their flexibility, convenience and eco-friendliness, e-autorickshaws and cycles form an integral part of the urban transportation system in India. Since the autorickshaw sector is a means of livelihood for families of the lower-middle and poor sections of society, this is also a holistic effort to uplift the lives of these communities. With the electric auto driven and owned by a lady driver, this is undoubtedly the direction in which sustainable development needs to proceed.

BREADS and its partners have found that the women do face challenges on this unknown path of entrepreneurship. Some of which, are the unwillingness and fear of changing gender roles, social taboos, apprehension of going alone for trainings or getting licenses, lack of family support and family problems, financial liabilities, lack of funds etc. Naturally then, they require the support of an ecosystem that provides both material and moral support to encourage them not to give up in the face of difficulties. Once they find their balance, they are ready and willing to soar!

Your little help can heal their pains