Supportive services like savings and credit, health care, child care, insurance, legal aid, capacity building and communication services are important needs of poor women. If women are to achieve their goals of full employment and self-reliance, these services are essential. Recognising the need for supportive services, SEWA has helped women take a number of initiatives in organising these services for themselves and their SEWA sisters. Many important lessons have been learnt in the process of organising supportive services for and by poor women. They provide these services in a decentralised and affordable manner, at the doorsteps of workers. Further, supportive services can be and are themselves a source of self-employment. For example, midwives charge for their services and creche workers collect fees for taking care of young children.
Also, women are ready to pay for the services and in fact, this results in the financial viability of the supportive services. They do not have to be totally dependent on subsidies and grants. Some supportive services like savings and credit, health and child care have formed their own co-operatives. these cooperatives have gained operational self sufficiency.
SEWA bank has achieved financial viability for many years now, while the other cooperatives are steadily moving towards this.