Business School for rural women in India

by Mann Deshi Foundation
Reshma at her shop
Reshma at her shop

Reshma says, “the Mann Deshi has shown us the way of life.”

Reshma comes from a poor family,due to her family conditions she was not able to continue her studies. Due to added responsibility on her father to finance the education of his three brothers, she got married early.

But condition of her husband family was also not that good. For first 2-3 years the income of her husband was not enough to fulfill their family needs.  One day, in the weekly market she receive the pamphlet for Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-school for rural women) and enrolled business development workshop from which she got an idea of starting a shop- stationary needed for marriage business. Now Reshma has started the shop.   Then she also enrolled financial literacy workshop through which in order to increase the business, she approached the Mann Deshi bank for the loan.

She took a loan of 10000 Rs for the first time and increased the business. And with the second loan of Rs15000 she bought a shop and stationary.

And for the third time she took a loan of Rs 20000 and increased the stationary and grocery. Before her income used to be Rs 8, 000 and now it is gone to Rs 30,000.

Reshma says, “the Mann Deshi has shown us the way of life.”


Reshma's shop
Women in the group discussion writing ,"who am I?"
Women in the group discussion writing ,"who am I?"
Creation of business plan through group discussion
Creation of business plan through group discussion


Surekha inseminating the goat
Surekha inseminating the goat

The lady with the wonder bag!

 “It is my objective to transform other women’s life and work towards women empowerment.” Says Surekha

Mann Deshi provides a goat insemination course and selected 23 women to take the 6 day training. Surekha was one of them. 25 goats were inseminated by Surekha, out of which 15 inseminations were successful. At the training, she was taught to inseminate goats with 4 kinds of semen- namely: Boar, Damascus, Alpine Cross and Osmanabadi.

Surekha started inseminating goats in Mhaswad first. She faced several challenges but tackled them with great efforts. Soon, the success rate went up and the demand for insemination increased. Today, Surekha carries out insemination in 5 villages with a 70% success rate. Additionally, she also teaches her clients to care their goats post insemination, look after their dietary needs etc. She also has to make follow up visits after 15 days to check if the insemination was successful or not. Surekha is constantly in touch with Mann Deshi Foundation for advice. She carries out 50 inseminations per month. Surekha plans to scale up her business and has been training other women too. She has employed 6 women under her and expanded her business to other villages.

Today, Surekha’s children go to a good English medium school and are brilliant students excelling in studies as well as sports. Surekha has also taken a loan from Mann Deshi Bank to set up a mobile shoppy business and is very confident of paying it on time.

Mann Deshi’s livelihood program has changed Surekha’s life; therefore she encourages other women to participate in the program. She says it is her objective to transform other women’s life and work towards women empowerment.

Because of support of Mann Deshi's donor Surekha is a Successful Inseminator today.

Surekha while doing survey
Surekha while doing survey


Dear Mann Deshi Supporters,

Meet Mangal, from Natepute village :

Background: Her family business is to make limestone & sell it in the weekly markets of villages which was the only income source. She has a son & a daughter. Her children couldn’t complete education due to poverty.  

Business Condition: She didn’t have market and capital to expand her business. Even the income coming from the business was not sufficient for her to meet the needs of her family.   

B-school’s Support: One day, she attended a meeting of B-school from Mann Deshi where Branch coordinator informed her about business for women, its expansion, aid & loan for the business. Mangal wasn’t sure if she could get a support from the Mann Deshi as she has not get support from any institutions before.  When Mangal attended financial literacy & business development workshops from B-school, she shared her business problems i.e. capital and market linkages.   Immediately, B-school coordinator connected her with the Mann Deshi field officer, informed her about loan procedure & its low interest rate. Before, Mangal was lending money for business from money lenders but now after B-school recommendation Mangal got a loan of Rs.10000 in the month of September from Mann Deshi Bank.

Earlier, she was selling the limestone in one weekly market. But Mann Deshi helped her by advertising her product by connecting her with the people involved in construction, color & painters. It helped Mangal to expand the business & her economical condition started to improve. She could pay the loan installments regularly which encouraged her to demand the multiple loans.  

Mangal’s confidence is raised and she borrowed 4 loans but didn’t even realize about it. Earlier, she was borrowing money from money lenders with hefty interest and was unable to repay it regularly. Sometime, she was paying only interest for many months. The burden of the loan was too high to expand the business.  

But, after understanding the importance of business expansion and debt management in Mann Deshi B-school, she could repay the loan installments regularly & the most important thing is she doesn’t have to go to the bank for demanding & repaying the loan as bank comes to her workplace for the same. It saved her time & money.  Mangal could expand her business & gain good profit in the business.


Monthly income of Mangal is increased from Rs.6000 to 8000

Her Market area is expanded from 1 to 5

She is shifted from moneylenders to bank

Growth from retail to wholesale business

Mann Deshi is grateful to its donors for their regular support.


Mann Deshi Entrepreneur using mobile technology
Mann Deshi Entrepreneur using mobile technology

Dear Mann Deshi Supporters,

"A woman who raised sheep and goats came to the Mann Deshi bank wanting a loan to buy a mobile phone so she could talk to her children when she was away working. She also asked us to show her how to operate the phone. This led to the launch of a business school programme to teach women in a day-long workshop how to operate mobile phones, how to buy minutes and other basic skills like using calculators.

Mann Deshi also introduced a Deshi MBA programme for these rural entrepreneurs to provide training in such areas as cash management, self-management and mentorship.

And because the women cannot travel, we established a business school bus that travels to them.

It is so important to change attitudes towards these impoverished women. This is why we set up a community radio station, so women can share experiences; some become quite famous and the result is that families often become more supportive.

Since started in 2006, Mann Deshi B-school has been reached to100,000 illiterate women in remote, rural parts of Maharashtra touching over 500,000 lives indirectly. Business School has provided financial literacy and business management training to over 100,000 and created +60,000 successful entrepreneurs.  In 2014, Mann Deshi B-school aim to reach 30,000 women."

This is wholly because of support of Mann Deshi's Donors.

Thank you very much !

B-school on wheels
B-school on wheels
FLO Grassroots Women Entrepreneurship Award winner
FLO Grassroots Women Entrepreneurship Award winner



L3F pioneer Ms. Lakshmi is a local celebrity in Mhaswad, in southwest India. She is a mentor working with two L3F partners, the Mann Deshi Foundation and the Mann Deshi Women’s Co-operative Bank. For a living, she hand-makes brooms and, with her husband, sells them in different villages on a bicycle cart.

She has become a magnificent inspiration to many women in her hometown, all of whom celebrated her recently receiving an entrepreneurship for women award from the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO).

Travelling out of Mhaswad for the first time, on a flight, was an out-of-the-world experience for Lakshmi Tai! You can feel both the pride and the simplicity in her voice. “I only saw airplanes in the sky before, but I wasn’t scared to be on the flight. I felt like I was comfortably sitting at home.”

Her face lights up when she sees her picture on Mann Deshi’s brochure. She enquires about the pictures of FICCI’s award function, as she cannot wait to share these with her children. She says her grandchildren are really proud of her.

This, however, was not her first profession. She started out making ropes in a local agency, but it shut down due to water shortage and other issues. She had observed women making brooms and quietly learned from them. Exposed to the L3F programme in her community and motivated to succeed, she trained at Mann Deshi and took out loans to start her business; she proudly says she repaid all of the loans on time.

She is a regular listener to community radio, as well as being an L3F resource person for Financial Literacy and other programmes. Her eloquent advice is aired on Mann Deshi radio frequently. Lakshmi is one of the many award-winning entrepreneurs whom Mann Deshi has helped to grow.

Life was not very easy for Lakshmi Tai, but she never lost hope and courageously moved ahead. The award celebrates this courage that will inspire more such women to break the barriers of poverty and reject the traditional, feeble identity associated with the rural women of India.

 Thanks to Mann Deshi supporters for creating women entrepreneurs like LAKSHMI .

Lakshmi at Mann Deshi Community Radio station
Lakshmi at Mann Deshi Community Radio station
Lakshmi- Mann Deshi Borrower
Lakshmi- Mann Deshi Borrower

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Organization Information

Mann Deshi Foundation

Location: Mhaswad, Maharashtra - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Chetna Sinha
Mhaswad, Maharashtra India

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