Master G and Daughters Pvt Ltd, a startup that provides providing training to women in the apparel industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from non-profit impact investor Acumen Fund's angel programme.
The company will use the funds to develop digital platforms, audio-visual resources and scaling its training to reach more underserved youth in the country.
Founded by Gayatri Jolly, MasterG is an all-women design and skill development venture for the global apparel industry. It trains women and aims to capitalise its training by building digital learning and community-based platforms and creating a network of allies that envision a resilient and safe livelihood.
"Acumen looks to seed some really innovative and paradigm breaking models through the angels programme, which is part of Acumen’s strategy in workforce development," said Mahesh Yagnaraman, India Country Director, Acumen.
“Gayatri is breaking the pattern in workforce and skills development,” he said. The programme would allow women to become self-reliant, make career and life choices and deal with patriarchy exclusion, Yagnaraman said.
Also read: Gayatri Jolly: The Master 'G' behind the first all-women ecosystem in apparel design
MasterG also plans to explore partnerships with corporates and their corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends.
Having worked with companies like Armani and Diane Von Furstenberg, Jolly is an experienced professional of design and management in the fashion industry. She is also an Acumen, INK and Unltd India Fellow. She is the creative director of HEIMAT, which is MasterG’s in-house fashion brand.
Acumen invests patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives.
Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $131 million in 131 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States.
"Through this training, they will become respectable workers, entrepreneurs and thus become productive. Given India’s abysmal women workforce participation rates, this is much needed," Yagnaraman added.
The skilling industry has been struggling to scale in India due to reliance on government contracts and CSR projects. However, new models are recognising the challenges in the industry and working to tackle them. These focus on demand-driven skilling, students paying for the course through a financing model and using a strong tech platform to reduce operational costs as a company scales.