Business School for rural women in India

by Mann Deshi Foundation
Bainabai at her tea stall
Bainabai at her tea stall

Case study: Bainabai Sagar

Supported by Mann Deshi Business School, Bainabai was running her own Chai (tea) stall successfully.  She was a role model for women in rural Maharashtra and also led many Self-Help Groups. Bainabai was using her domestic LPG gas connection to run her stall, unaware that it was not permissible under the state law, until one day she was detained by the local police for using domestic gas for commercial purposes. 

After all the hard work and dedication she had put in her business, Bainabai felt insulted to be told that in the eyes of the law she had committed a crime. However Mann Deshi was able to provide justification on her behalf and Bainabai was soon freed from police custody. 

We are extremely proud that Bainabai again gathered the courage to re-establish her business using the appropriate gas and to return to her family. She is an idol for many women and girls in her community. Through this mistake, Mann Deshi was also able to recognize the need to ensure that its students must be provided with support to answer technicalities of setting up their business.

Inspired by Bainabai’s experience, a toll free telephone service was established offering women immediate access to trained local staff who can address any business related issues or queries. Bainabai’s resilience and the continued confidence of other women and girls in Mann Deshi’s Business School is evidence of its deep and meaningful impact on their lives.

In order to offer them the continuous support they need to ensure that women like Bainabai Sagar can effectively scale-up and sustain their businesses, Mann Deshi has established India’s First Chamber of Commerce for Rural Women in 2012 as a extension of B-school, with the support of the HSBC, British Asian Trust and the Clinton Global Initiative. As a forward-thinking organisation, Mann Deshi constantly seeks to innovate and enhance the services it provides to India’s rural women. Learning from its experiences on the ground, Mann Deshi realises that equipping women with the skills and access to finance they need to set up micro-enterprises is only the first step in their journey.

Mann Desh has established 7 bank branches, 7 b-school branches and 3 mobile business schools. Mann Deshi’s Mobile Business School is a custom-built bus used by Mann Deshi Udyogini to reach women in the remotest areas.

Mann Deshi Bank has reached +185,000 account holders.  Through its B-School Mann Deshi has attracted nearly 71,000+ students to business and mobile business schools, with 42,000 women has set up and/or grow their own businesses.

Thank you once again for Mann Deshi Donor’s generosity. Without their support it may not be possible.

Mann Deshi Successful Role Modles (Entrepreneurs).
Mann Deshi Successful Role Modles (Entrepreneurs).

A Unique Model: India’s rural business school for women

 Mann Deshi declared Mann Deshi Udyojika award for rural women entrepreneurs of Maharashtra.  Sixteen successful entrepreneurs were received award at Vaduj, on 1st February.  The Chief Guest of the Event was Spruha Joshi, a very well known popular and award winning actress (Uncha Maza Zoka fame Ramabai Ranade).  Also respective MLA’s from Mann Taluka and Khatav Taluka grace the ceremony.

During the award ceremony, Mann Deshi UDYOJIKA graduates conferred with certificates, trophy & prize money. Spirit of award is to honor those deshi women entrepreneurs who have successfully taken their enterprise to next level despite odd and adversity.  Purpose of the award is to admire successful business women and to disseminate the encouragement to other to be entrepreneurs. 

Story of Udyojika Rukmini Ashok More: (Mann Deshi Udyojika Award Winner 2013)

Rukmini More is originally a resident of village of Nimsod, district Satara of Maharashtra State. Rukmini got married when she was in only eight standard. Rukmini wanted to pursue her education further. After only one year of marriage she gave birth to her son and he is her only one child. At this juncture she had to take the responsibility of her child and also to earn her livelihood as her husband left her. She had to migrate several times from one place to another to earn her livelihood.

Initially she got settled in Pune for some years and started working as home maid. Despite the responsibility of a small child, she continued her education and she completed second year of graduation. Responsibility kept on increasing on her shoulder and she couldn’t pursue her education further. From Pune she migrated to Karad there she worked as a hospital maid. Finally she came to Satara there too she initially worked as a hospital maid.

There was something within her which always encouraged her to do some business of her own. She purchased a hand cart in Rs.1650/-.She used to sell local biscuits and chocolate on this cart in front of a hostel. Later on she started selling Vada Pav and Bhajiya (both are local snacks).Finally she got settled at Pavai Naka at satara. She is paying now rent of Rs.10 per day for the shop place.

She got in touch with Maan Deshi 9 years before. There she has undergone several programs of Manndeshi B-school such as Mann Deshi Udyojika program, Financial Literacy and paper bag making. Udyojika program and exposure visit got in the program helped Rukmini in understanding her business in a better way. Now she started making paper bag for selling Vada Pav and Bhajiya. She started daily saving with Mann Deshi bank. Now she could plan future and business candidly.

She learned money management in the B-school, took first loan from Mann Deshi Bank of Rs.10000/- to repair her hand cart. Second loan of Rs. 25000/- she took from Mann Deshi bank to get her ornament released from a local money lender. She took third loan from Mann Deshi bank of Rs.35000/-to do some construction work at the place of her shop.

She got her son married to a girl from local orphanage. As her son couldn’t do much in his career, Rukmini has to take the responsibility of her two grandsons and daughter in law also.

On 1st February, 2013, Rukmini got an award from Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-School for Rural Women) for successfully participating in the Mann Deshi Udyojika Program.  “With the award money she got, she has dream to get her two grandsons admitted in English medium school. "Says Rukmini

She wanted to have her own house in Nimsod (her native place) and live her remaining life there with dignity.

Mann Deshi transforms women with little or no education into successful entrepreneurs through financial literacy, management education and business training, linked with access to finance via its cooperative bank run by and for women. And this would not be possible without the support of Mann Deshi Donors.

Through its business schools in Mhaswad, Satara, Dahiwadi, Lonand and Vaduj,  Mann Deshi has empowered over 71,000 women in rural Maharashtra, of which over 42,000 have established micro-enterprises to date.

By July, 2013, Mann Deshi will inaugurate its business school in Pune to better link women in remote rural Maharashtra to the city as well as work with marginalised women there.

Most Sincerely,

Mann Deshi Udyojika Award Winner
Mann Deshi Udyojika Award Winner

                                        MANNDESHI UDYOJIKA PURUSKAR (Award) 

 “With the award money she got, she has dream to get her two grandsons admitted in English medium school. "Says Rukmini 

 UDYOJIKA:    UDYOJIKA is an initiative of the Mann Deshi Foundation (NGO) under its program ‘business school for rural women’ called UDYOGINI. Every Year UDYOJIKA extends support and training to selected rural women micro entrepreneurs facing different challenges, in terms of basic business training, networking, market linkage, exposure visit, fund raising and mentoring to help them to take their enterprises to the next level.

 MANNDESHI UDYOJIKA PURUSKAR:  This is a unique ceremony organized every year to acknowledge the achievement of rural underserved entrepreneur who have been able to manage her enterprise profitably despite lots of adversity and also shouldered the responsibility of her family and managed it successfully.

 OBJECTIVE:  The purpose of the award is to honor successful businesswomen and to disseminate the encouragement to other to follow the same path of being entrepreneurship.

 This year too Mann Deshi Foundation celebrated the success of 16 design women entrepreneurs and acknowledged the achievement by conferring awards to them.

During the ceremony Mann Deshi UDYOJIKA graduates were given prize money, trophy with certificates. Achievement honours were conferred to those deshi women entrepreneurs who had successfully taken their enterprise to next level despite odd and adversity.

I would like to share story of one of the Awardee Mrs. Rukmini More:

(I) Rukmini Ashok More (Mann Deshi Udyojika Beneficiary at Satara Centre): Educated up to 12th standard, Rukmini worked as a housemaid. She gave up the housework for a job at a clinic in Satara, where she purchased a mobile stall, which she put up outside a hostel and sold items according to the requirements of the hostel students.  After the course she also sold snack items like wadapav and bhajiyas. She now owns and runs a snack shop. Rukmini also took training of making paper bags from B-school and now she herself makes paper bags and use for her business.  Rukmini, now dreams of sending her grandson in an English medium school. After a life long struggle, Rukmini now boasts of a monthly income of Rs.5,000/-

She got her son married to a girl from local orphanage. As her son couldn’t do much in his career, Rukmini has to take the responsibility of her two grandsons and daughter in law also.

 On 1st February, 2013, Rukmini got an award from Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-School for Rural Women) for successfully participating in the Mann Deshi Udyojika Program.  “With the award money she got, she has dream to get her two grandsons admitted in English medium school. "Says Rukmini

 She wanted to have her own house in Nimsod (her native place) and live her remaining life with dignity.

Thank you to Mann Deshi Supporters who help Mann Deshi to help these women to become a successful.

Rukmini More selling Vada Pav at bus station.
Rukmini More selling Vada Pav at bus station.



Dear Mann Deshi Supporters,

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

“B-School at woman’s doorstep”:  Mann Deshi Bank with B-school together has been able to reach +155,000 women and have provided them capital and business training. 60% of women have been able to start and expand their business successfully.

A Hope in the time of Drought-Mann Deshi Catte Camp” : Today, people are migrating from Mann Taluka, not in search of employment but in search of drinking water. Mann taluka is facing an acute drought situation in more than 185 villages. Since last 24 months there is no rain. In such a situation it is crucially needed to provide water to households by tankers and to arrange fodder and water in cattle camps in the areas.

Give a girl bike, Change her Life”:  Mann Deshi has given bicycle to more than 4000 girls.  Bike gives these girls an opportunity to carry on their advanced education.

This would not have been possible without our supporters and partners.  And as we come to the end of another successful year, we want to thank those who have contributed to Mann Deshi’s success.

The Mann Deshi aims to provide underprivileged rural women with the resources they need to improve their lives.  Mann Deshi works holistically to improve slummy women’s lives through a variety of financial services, business trainings and skills.

Thus, we hope that you remember Mann Deshi when you think about buying gifts this holiday season.  Any donations you make will have a direct impact on the disadvantaged rural women and girls we serve, allowing them to improve their lives: your donation would truly be a gift that kept on giving.

Mann Deshi currently has three projects linked with Global Giving, a US and UK based organization that connects people with the countries and causes they are passionate about.  Global Giving is registered under 501c3 so that US donors receive tam exemptions.  For this donation Mann Deshi Foundation is registered under 80G and also has tax exemption.  Your tax-deductible
donation will be wired directly to Mann Deshi Foundation from Global Giving.

The projects you can contribute to are:

1.      The Freedom Ride Bicycle Program for Girls provides bicycles to girls in remote locations so that they can travel to school, and therefore complete their education

For "GlobalGiving US" site, project report is located at:

For "GlobalGiving UK" site, project report is located at:

2.      Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-school for rural women in india) brings life skills and financial training to poor rural wage laborers, empowering them to become successful businesswomen.

3.      Mann Deshi Catte Camp : A Hope in the time of Drought. The Biggest cattle camp in India, providing water and fodder to animals. 2012 also went out without rain. No drop of rain since last two years.

For "GlobalGiving" site, your project report is located at:

For "GlobalGiving UK" site, Your project report is located at:

To make an anonymous donation, a donation on behalf of another person, or to donate as a gift in a friend's name, please visit and search "Mann Deshi Foundation", or go directly to Mann Deshi's link:

With many thanks and warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas holiday season and New Year.

Happy Holidays,

Yours Sincerely,





Dear Mann Deshi Supporters & Donors,

Mann Deshi is grateful for its donors support.  B-school has been reached over 50,000 women entrepreneurs. Mann Deshi is in a continuous dialogue with its clients and conducts interviews on a regular basis. The following story is example of the impact Mann Deshi makes on the local community:

                                       Story of Financial Education based on ODL Structure thorough B-school

                                          I.            Sangita Rajmane: Save More, Spend Less

Sangita Rajmane, one of the beneficiaries of financial literacy course and agriculture workshop of Mobile B-school.  Sangita also have saving account in Mann Deshi Bank. 

She is owner of small readymade shop and runs tailoring business.  Sangita has participated in financial literacy program of Mann Deshi.  Sangita says, “After participating in financial literacy course I improved my knowledge about “wise use of money”.  Without delay I opened saving account in Mann Deshi Bank and started saving Rs.500 per month.  Financial literacy taught me, Save More & More and Spend Less.”

Sangita further added that in agriculture workshop she learned about how to grow drumstick tree, how to do marketing of drumsticks, how to earn profit.  Also got information about Nursery of plants and how to take care of drumstick plants. After taking the course Sangita started bowing drumstick plants near her house. Nearly 700 plants she grows and sold for Rs.10 each.  Sangita also understood that parts of Drumstick trees have medicinal value and she is using juice, paste, power of seeds, flowers and leaves as a medicine for different purposes.  Also spreading her knowledge of “use of medicine” within community.

After her connection with Mann Deshi through financial literacy and agriculture workshop Sangita aware about the other courses that Mann Deshi provides.  Immediately she joined basic and advance tailoring course in Mobile B-school.  And it’s amazing that Sangita’s monthly income has been increased by Rs.2000/-

Thank you very much for your support in creating women entrepreneurs like SANGITA.



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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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