Business School for rural women in India

by Mann Deshi Foundation
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
Uma Chavan Repairing Motor-bike
Uma Chavan Repairing Motor-bike

Dear Mann Deshi Supporters,

“I have the knowledge of doing my job but not of making this into a successful business. I want to buy our own place and machinery,’’ Ms. Chavan said.

Uma Chavan, a 27-year-old from Lonand Village in Satara, had been taught basic mechanical skills like repairing tire punctures by her husband. She enrolled at the Mann Deshi B-school and now hopes to open her own garage and include another small scale business of grinding masala.

Any woman who walks in the Mann Deshi Business center is encouraged and trained to be financially independent. If they aspire to develop a particular skill, we rope in trainers and experts to impart that knowledge.

The main purpose of Mann Deshi Udyogini (Business School for Rural women) project is to improve the economic status of rural women entrepreneurs thereby contributing to poverty reduction, improved livelihoods and gender equality.

110,000 women have taken courses with Mann Deshi B-School.  This will not be possible without Mann Deshi donors support.

Most Sincerely,

Uma Chavan- Two/Four Wheeler Repairer
Uma Chavan- Two/Four Wheeler Repairer


photo schwab foundation award winner-chetna sinha
photo schwab foundation award winner-chetna sinha

Chetna Sinha, the winner of the 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY)-India award

On 11 November, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced Chetna Sinha, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation, as the winner of the 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY)-India award.

Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation, established in 1997, headquartered in Mhaswad, Maharashtra, aspire to create 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India by 2020. The group manages three institutions that together help create alternate livelihoods and incomes for rural women: a women-owned rural cooperative bank that extends a range of financial services; a rural mobile MBA school that offers skill and entrepreneurship training; and a chamber of commerce that facilitates market and policy linkages.

Sujata Mane started out in business with a small sweet shop, a farm field, and a buffalo. She accessed the Mann Deshi Bank for a loan to buy a noodle machine. The Bank referred her to the Mann Deshi Foundation and recommended she enroll in a financial literacy class and a self-help group to improve her chances of success. After paying off the loan, she took another in order to buy a chili-power machine. She later borrowed enough to expand her small sweet shop into a larger grocery store. She began concentrating on branding her products, using skills she learned with Mann Deshi. Meanwhile, she also started seeing profits from her plot of agricultural land, thanks to the assistance of Mann Deshi’s agricultural training programming. She is now so busy that she employs her husband to distribute her products. Sujata is now the leader of her self-help group, a graduate of the Deshi MBA program, a landowner, and a provider for six family members.

Thanks to the support of GlobalGiving Donors!!

Sujata Mane - Successful Entrepreneur
Sujata Mane - Successful Entrepreneur


 Dear Mann Deshi Donor’s

Mann Deshi Business School for Rural Women is a first MBA school to become a social entrepreneur.  The graduates of this school are semi/non-literate women.  After graduation women start/scale their businesses.  Women entrepreneurs in rural India face lot of challenge to run successful businesses.  Mann Deshi provides business & finance management skills with vocational trainings.  Mann Deshi believes, if the income of women increases they invest in children education & health.  Since started this program +85000 women has been benefitted from B-school.

A case in point is Kanchan Bhagat:   “I paid the debts of my father in law and ransom our plot”, says Kanchan.  Married at the age of 16, Kanchan 33 is a restless entrepreneur.  She first started a group that would do Kundan and Zari work but realizing the low profit margin, she started a business of preparing and selling snacks like chakali, chivda etc.  After attending the Mann Deshi Udyojika programme (MBA program), today she employs 9 women and her products are sold not onlyh in Satara but also in Pune.  She also provides mid-day meal to schools. She earns an annual income between 2 to 2.5 lakh rupees. On 1st February, 2013, Kanchan got an award from Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-School for Rural Women) for successfully participating in the Mann Deshi Udyojika Program. 

 Your support for B-School can help rural women to become a social entrepreneur. 

We’ve simplified the donation procedure, allowing supporters to donate by clicking on the url What better way to celebrate Christmas than by sharing what you have with neighbors who are in need of assistance to meet their basic needs? Your generosity will have a positive impact on people who are in need, as well as the larger community. Every gift matters. Please, won’t you decide to make a difference today?

Mann Deshi Foundation


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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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