collective enterprises Deshpande Foundation


India has more than 25 million people working in handlooms and handicrafts sector, almost similar number of people in grassroots entrepreneurship making livelihoods ends meet out of entrepreneurial efforts.

These grassroots entrepreneurs are inhabited in clusters of villages or at same geo-spatial habitats in semi-urban and urban areas. They can gain a better livelihood if some common needs may be attended professionally:

  • Un-organised procurement of raw material
  • High individual logistics costs in business ops
  • Drudgery in work, long working hours
  • Poor quality of products
  • No innovations in design
  • Lack of quality standards & low market acceptability
  • No branding

Team DF is committed to help some of these clusters build “Collective Enterprises” of artisans and primary producers with the help of shared infrastructure, markets and services; avail common opportunities using economies of scale.

There are pilots in Kolhapuri chappal making leather artisans, food processing and snacks making women producers and aari embroidery women in North Karnataka taken up to help them evolve mutually aided, self-reliant Off-Farm Producers Organisations.