The Mann Deshi Foundation works with the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank to empower rural women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills, courage, access and capital to have more control over their lives.
Access and control over finance allows women greater freedom over their businesses and lives.
Strengthening business skills and access to markets are as essential as access to credit for expansion and growth.
Creating supportive networks, promoting stories of success and addressing fundamental developmental issues all help women and their communities thrive.
In 1996, our founder Chetna Gala Sinha decided to set up the first rural bank for women in India to provide a safe space for women to save as well as gain affordable and easy access to credit. The Mann Deshi Foundation has since grown to supplement the bank by providing access to financial education, skills and a support network for rural women and their communities. Read more
The aim of the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank was to address a lack of access to formal financial institutions and be a safe space for rural women to save their money.
The Mann Deshi Foundation supports the bank by addressing needs beyond financing. We work on building business skills and facilitating market access for women entrepreneurs as well as their communities.
Today, we work in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. We aim to reach one million women by 2022.WATCH VIDEO
We empower female entrepreneurs and their communities by providing access to knowledge, capital, markets and social support.
We focus on nurturing and supporting micro-entrepreneurs. Our programmes are developed organically to address needs identified by the women we work with. We continue to evolve and adapt our programmes based on their inputs in order to better suit these needs.
Our business schools run courses for aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs. Many of our schools are run out of buses that travel to the remotest of locations.
Chambers of Commerce
We run a toll-free helpline, provide customised advisory services, facilitate market access and advocate for existing women entrepreneurs.
We are headquartered in the drought-prone region of Mann Taluka, rural Maharashtra. Our programmes work on addressing the needs of this community. We focus on water conservation to support small and marginal farmers. We also help young people continue their financial education and develop their sporting potential.
We build infrastructure that rejuvenates the water table and ensures access to clean water for farmers and their communities.
Farm to Market
We bring small and marginal farmers together and facilitate direct market access. We also create warehouse and cold storage facilities for their produce.
Mann Deshi Champions
We identify, nurture and train talented youth in a variety of sports and help them compete in regional and national championships.
1st pension fund
in partnership with the Unit Trust of India for rural women micro-entrepreneurs in India
1st Cash Credit product
for rural women in weekly markets
in average annual incomes of our business school trainees
have participated in our women’s empowerment programmes
felt financially empowered after our trainings
with the Mann Deshi Sahakari Bank
In August 2017, one of our participants in the Para-Vet Goat Programme, Sunita Kamble, was awarded the ‘Indian Women Empowerment Award’ by the Indian government. When she returned home, her entire village came out to congratulate and celebrate her success.
in the community have benefitted from access to clean water
in farmers’ incomes because of additional cash crops planted and new businesses such as animal husbandry and fisheries developed
have come together in our farm to market programmes in the last year
9,000 girls benefited
through the bicycle program to ensure access to schools
in the champions programme, of which 300 are competing at the state, national or international level
Sarita Bhise, a participant of the Mann Deshi’s Champions programme, is now the captain of the Maharashtra state field field hockey team.
Our digital literacy programme introduces women to digital banking, ATMs and cashless apps. This connects women to larger markets and financial infrastructure, builds their credit history and makes their business payments easier to manage. Most importantly, it gives them a stronger financial identity.
Mann Deshi, in partnership with IFMR Investments, is setting up the first Alternative Investment Fund for women micro entrepreneurs in India. An innovative financing model, it provides working capital loans to help women significantly grow their enterprises.