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Mann Deshi Foundation


Issue AreaSocial Services

Amount NeededGeneral Support Needed

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Economic empowerment for women

Mann Deshi Foundation was founded by Chetna Gala Sinha in Mhaswad, Maharashtra in 1996 to support poor rural women have more control over their lives. Mann Deshi’s vision is to empower women to make their own choices and to be celebrated as equal and valuable members of their families and communities. Our mission is to empower women with the knowledge, skills, courage, access and capital to become successful entrepreneurs with more control over their lives. To date, the foundation has reached about 500,000 women and by 2024, we aim to reach one million 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 and a chamber of commerce for providing legal, compliance, financial and marketing advisory.

Set up in 1997, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank is the first bank set up exclusively by and for rural women. Its over 100,000 clients predominantly include daily wage labourers, small and marginal farmers, vegetable and street vendors, shopkeepers, and numerous micro-entrepreneurs. It is dedicated to their financial inclusion and control.

Problem Statement

Most women in rural India, and especially in the areas that Mann Deshi Foundation works, face tremendous gender discrimination and opposition to participate in economic and social life. Our vision is to support women become more independent and we have chosen to focus on economic empowerment to expand women’s choices. It is well documented that economic empowerment expands women’s capacity to control money, feel more confident and have more decision making power about her own and her family’s life. However, women need a great deal of support and training to either start businesses or to expand their existing ones.

Mann Deshi Foundation supports women’s economic empowerment by nurturing entrepreneurship. Our Foundation provides women the training, guidance and support to start and expand businesses and an ever expanding network of peers, role models and leaders. The Mann Deshi Bank provides essential capital and banking services necessary for entrepreneurship. It creates customised financial products for rural women.

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