The STEP programme aims to increase the self-reliance and autonomy of women by enhancing their productivity and enabling them to take up income generation activities. It provides training for skill upgradation to poor and asset less women in the traditional sectors viz. agriculture, animal husbandry, dairying, fisheries, handlooms, handicrafts, khadi and village industries, sericulture, social forestry and wasteland development.
- To mobilise women in small viable groups and make facilities available through training and access to credit.
- To provide training for skill upgradation.
- To enable groups of women to take up employment-cum-income generation programmes by providing backward and forward linkages.
- To provide support services for further improving training and employment conditions of women.
The scheme is implemented through Public Sector, Organisations, District Rural Development Agencies, Federations, Co-operatives and Voluntary Organisations registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or under the Corresponding State Acts. Recipients of financial assistance under STEP are required to be bodies, organisations or agencies working in rural areas, although their headquarters may be located in an urban area.