"We both strongly believe that social entrepreneurship coupled with innovation at the grassroots level can create a ripple effect at the bottom of the pyramid, empower the rural poor, bring positive changes in the society and transform a developing country like India. This belief led to the founding of Deshpande Foundation (DF), Hubli in India."
Our approach is not merely solving a problem but building an ecosystem that enables ideas and entrepreneurs to complement each other for a large impact. We started the Hubli Sandbox to support mission-driven individuals to come up with sustainable and scalable enterprises having social and economic impact. The Sandbox is engaged in creating a pool of critical problem solvers who can find innovative solutions in different areas, and thereby address the challenges of the local community like poverty, income inequality, and lack of access to basic facilities.
Many young people in India's rural and semi-urban areas have extraordinary capabilities and entrepreneurial skills. Through the Sandbox's bottom-up approach, DF India equips them with necessary skills, provides them grants and infrastructure to experiment, puts them through the right networks, and maximizes their potential by constantly engaging them. The Sandbox environment is the combination of the execution excellence of for-profits and the compassion of non-profits.
A number of educational and mentorship initiatives-LEAD, Sandbox Startups and Grantmaking - that run simultaneously in the Sandbox ecosystem are enabling local youth, entrepreneurs and agripreneurs to be the catalysts of social change. Our efforts have started bearing fruits in the Hubli Sandbox area in Northwest Karnataka. We have touched the lives of many with our differentiated approach and constructive interventions in livelihood, health, agriculture and education.
Inspired by our success with the Hubli Sandbox, two big-hearted philanthropists have replicated the model in two other locations in India - Kakatiya Sandbox in Nizamabad, Telangana; and Ek Soch Sandbox in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. We want to inspire more partners to come up with more sandboxes in different parts of India for empowering local communities to find contextual solutions for their local problems.
We are truly blessed to have incredible people - engineers, teachers, social workers, amazing advisors, great partners and fantastic leaders from all over the world - working with DF India. This is just the beginning of our endeavors to make a better place by creating opportunities to all those who are passionate about pursuing their own dream of improving the lives of others. Your active participation in DF inspires us to do more and provides the ideas, resources and the mentoring to carry on our efforts. Thank you for being a part of the effort!
Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande
Founders, Deshpande Foundation