Access to finance isn’t the only factor for success. Building business skills and access to markets is equally important to unlock the true potential of entrepreneurs.

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.

1. Financial Control

Access and control over finance allows women greater freedom over their businesses and lives.


2. Skill Building

Strengthening business skills and access to markets are as essential as access to credit for expansion and growth.


3. Community Networks

Creating supportive networks, promoting stories of success and addressing fundamental developmental issues all help women and their communities thrive.

ABOUT US

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.

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Our Work

We empower female entrepreneurs and their communities by providing access to knowledge, capital, markets and social support.

For Women

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.

Women’s Bank

Our bank is dedicated to creating customised financial products for rural women.

Business Schools

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.

Community Radio

Our radio focusses on stories and issues that are particularly relevant to women entrepreneurs, provides information on the latest government schemes and programmes and promotes local musical and folk traditions.

For Communities

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.

Water Conservation

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.

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.

“Mann Deshi's financial management training was very helpful and the bank also gave me several loans to expand my business. But most of all, I met so many women and I knew I was not alone.”
My courage is my capital.

Sugrabi Mulani

Our Impact

On Women

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


25% increase

in average annual incomes of our business school trainees


400,000 women

have participated in our women’s empowerment programmes


55% women

felt financially empowered after our trainings


90,000 accounts

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.

On Communities

50,000 people

in the community have benefitted from access to clean water


2x increase

in farmers’ incomes because of additional cash crops planted and new businesses such as animal husbandry and fisheries developed


900 farmers

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


4,000 athletes

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.


CURRENT INNOVATIONS

DIGITAL LITERACY PROGRAMME

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.

ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FUND

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.

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COME JOIN US!

For partnership and career opportunities write to us at info@manndeshi.org.in