SHGs are “self-governed, peer-controlled, informal group of people, who share similar socio-economic status, and have a desire (need) to collectively perform in order to meet their individual needs primarily through resorting to small amounts of saving (thrift) and by using group loans for meeting their emerging credit needs.” (Chauhan 2004). SHGs are often supported through microfinance funding schemes by public and private banks through special institutions (Eg. NABARD). Such institutions also provide skill development through specific training sessions to the SHGs members to encourage entrepreneurial activity, such as: beautician training, computer skills, cashew nut processing, hand making greeting cards, etc.
Where successful, it is claimed that SHGs have significantly empowered poor people, especially women, in rural areas. Studies have shown that SHG activities have generated “substantial increases” in income due, in part, to the low-income levels at the outset but on the other hand, may increase workload on individuals without generating enough income for them.
Design thinking is a “process for creativity and innovation” often used to address a wide variety of personal, social, and business challenges in creative new ways. (Kelley and Kelley 2013). The process as commonly described has five aspects: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test (Stanford University Institute of Design 2017). This is in contrast with how Indian typical SHG members search for solutions to their problems or come up with their indigenous solutions and entrepreneurial ideas.
This Research involves understanding and exploring the nuances of Design Thinking for Self Help Groups under the supervision of Prof. Sugandh Malhotra (IDC, IIT Bombay) and Prof. Gene Bawden & Prof. Ilya Fridman (Monash University, Australia). The research area focuses on how Design Thinking process can transform Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Self Help Groups to address personal, social and business challenges. The project eventually aims to apply a process of action research to evaluate the design thinking process and to tailor that process into a feasible training program directed at self-help groups and national decision makers in India.
Design Office 203,
IDC School of Design,