Business School for rural women in India

by Mann Deshi Foundation
Sep 6, 2013

Business School for rural women in India

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.


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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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