About Us

Chetna

Chetna Gala Sinha

Founder

Mann Deshi is dedicated to the economic empowerment of rural women. Our model is simple. We run a Bank that provides women with affordable and easy access to credit and a Foundation that provides women with the knowledge, skills and support necessary to become successful entrepreneurs with more control over their lives. To date, we have reached over 300,000 women. By 2022, we aim to reach one million women.

Founded in 1996 in Mhaswad, in the drought-prone region of Satara district in Maharashtra, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank is the first cooperative bank set up exclusively for and by rural women. Working primarily with the previously unbanked, the Bank offers women a number of unique and customised services and products that enable them to finance their small businesses and build their assets. The Bank regularly advocates for more inclusive and gender focused banking policy.

Mann Deshi Foundation’s flagship programme is its business schools for rural women. These schools are run out of branch offices as well as buses that travel to the remotest of villages. The schools provide a number of courses - from financial literacy to enterprise set up to business expansion. Mann Deshi’s Chambers of Commerce offer mentoring, networking, marketing and expansion support for women entrepreneurs.

The Foundation also runs a number of community and social programmes. Its community radio highlights relevant government policies and schemes, promotes women’s businesses and features success stories. Its sports programme awards scholarships and nurtures potential athletes. It provides bicycles to girls so that they can complete their education. Finally, the Foundation works on fair practices in agriculture as well as water conservation, both particularly relevant issues for women in this drought-prone area.

Vision

To empower women to make their own choices and to be celebrated as equal and valuable members of their families and communities.

Mission

To empower women with the knowledge, skills, courage, access and capital to become successful entrepreneurs with more control over their lives.

Community

All our women belong to marginalized communities. 56% earn about $2 a day.

Model

Access to Finance
The Mann Deshi Bank is entirely dedicated to rural women micro-entrepreneurs and customizes its products to suit their needs. To date, it has nearly 100,000 accounts.

Entrepreneurship Support
Mann Deshi Foundation’s staff provides the training, skill and support women need to set up and expand businesses, access markets, and access customized marketing and advisory services. Courses are run out of branch offices and buses that travel to the remotest of villages. Our Chambers of Commerce provide customized trainings that improve market access. To date, it has reached nearly 400,000 women.

Community Leadership
The Mann Deshi Foundation celebrates women’s strengths and entrepreneurship. Our programmes encourage women discover their capabilities, develop their confidence, and fulfill their dreams. Our programme nurtures leaders that serve as mentors and our Community Radio highlights success stories. Every year, the ‘Successful Businesswomen’ awards are attended by thousands of women and their families.

Access to a Collective
Our programme ensures that women do not feel alone when they join Mann Deshi but have a comprehensive support system that is responsive to their needs.