“It was a turning point for me,” said Ruchi Jain, Founder and CEO of Taru Naturals, about her trip to the villages of small-scale farmers in India struggling with the effects of climate change. “I realized that if you want to make a big impact on the world, you have to be grassroots based—it has to be a movement.” Since then, Jain has grown Taru Naturals into a fair-trade network connecting over 10,000 tribal and small-scale organic farmers across India to the resources and training they need to grow climate-resilient crops and markets to sell their products.
Project Kirana is currently training 3,000 women shop owners and managers in the cities of Lucknow and Kanpur, working to optimize business operations and leverage digital and financial tools to improve decision-making, personal agency, and revenue.
ANDE is analyzing the promising project data from AWEF Asia projects, which concluded at the end of 2021. One of the early key learnings is that women entrepreneurs who participated in AWEF Asia funded programs reported increased confidence, self-efficacy, financial and investment literacy, and ability to critically evaluate potential investment and financing options.
ANDE spoke to Jona Resphiti of MIT-D-Lab about the organization’s ANDE-funded project under the Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund to better prepare female founders seeking capital and support investors in bringing more inclusivity to their practices, including impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the project in India and an upcoming simulation of what it’s like to be a female founder trying to raise $5 million.
"Endeavor Insight partnered with the Lemelson Foundation and Small Foundation to understand how entrepreneurial agriculture companies can maximize their impact in developing countries. The purpose of the study is to provide a data-backed assessment of the challenges and opportunities for supporting entrepreneurs. Endeavor Insight’s approach used several lenses, including a special focus on the types of innovation the founders have created, as well as an analysis of the dynamics within selected agricultural value chains. The results offer guidance for decision makers who support entrepreneurs as they address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in raising the incomes of smallholder farmers and alleviating poverty, creating transformative solutions that can address global food security, and generating quality jobs. This study builds on recent research in the international development and social investment communities, and takes into account the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis."
Highlights from four ANDE members working in the region.
With over 10 years of active involvement and experience, ANDE is committed to further deepening our role in the entrepreneurship and development ecosystem. Our updated global strategy, which informs ANDE’s global and regional work for the coming years, aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically focusing efforts on three urgent issues: decent work and economic growth, gender equality, and climate and environmental action. This brief focuses on decent work and economic growth, for India. It has been developed in partnership with ANDE Members Upaya Social Ventures and Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME). The brief highlights the current status quo of how small & growing businesses are contributing to creation of decent jobs and outlines strategies for collaborative action to strengthen the ecosystem.