The Mann Deshi Business School for Rural Women (MDBS) is a new program that provides training in technical, financial and marketing skills to women with no formal education and to girls who have dropped out of high school, allowing them to start and improve their own small enterprises. HSBC is founding sponsor for Business School for Rural Women. As on July, 2010, there have been 27,543 Women’s Business School graduates. Of these graduates, 60% have gone on to start their own businesses.
One of the main criticisms of Microfinance is that it only helps the “economically active” poor, while excluding the “poorest of the poor.” The Mann Deshi Business School for Rural Women helps to make microfinance available to all women by providing not just business capital but also skills, knowledge and motivation. With the support of Mann Deshi Mahila Ltd. Bank, the business school guarantees suitable loan options to its graduates for seed capital to start micro-enterprises.
Most courses are offered in a classroom setting located in Vaduj, which opened in December 2006, although some classes are also offered in Mhaswad and in smaller villages through the Mobile Busines School. We have inaugurated business school in Satara on 21st September, 2010 and in Hubli on May, 2010.
The courses are designed to provide the skills needed to start and run a successful enterprise in the local market. The levels of the courses range from basic to advanced, to meet the varied needs and skill levels of women. Courses last between two and eight weeks, and are offered on at least a two-year rotation, ensuring that the market will be able to absorb new graduates.
The British Asian Trust supports Mann Deshi business school for rural women. This will enable the rural women to start the business and become a successful business entrepreneur. The British Asian Trust was founded in July, 2007 by a group of British Asian business leaders at the suggestion of HRH, The Prince of Wales. It aims to serve as a ‘social fund’ to support high impact charities within the areas of education, enterprise and health in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK.
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