“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” - Mahatma Gandhi
The vast majority of social incubators and start-ups today are concentrated in the major metropolitan cities. India needs more innovations focussing on the needs of the common man and the upliftment of weaker sections of society. Since independence, the government has been cognizant of this divide. The popular slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan'' coined by our erstwhile prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri more than 50 years ago, holds true even today, and has been the guiding force behind our parent Manjari Foundation’s extensive work to empower small and marginal farmers towards self-sufficiency. Our experience working in the grassroots has taught us a valuable lesson - when people are mobilised into institutions, they hold the collective potential to bring lasting change to their communities.
“No doubt we have to have bigger projects, bigger industries, basic industries, but it is a matter of the highest importance that we look to the common man, the weakest element in the society.” Lal Bahadur Shastri
India needs a second wave of entrepreneurship to pave the way for bottom-up solutions that can address the unique developmental needs of underserved Bharat. Towards this end, MaSHIE will adopt a dual focus:
- Contextual innovations for BOP needs- Rural India has unique challenges requiring innovative bottom-up solutions. Over the years, Manjari Foundation has laid a strong foundation across Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh through its numerous interventions to build local capacities and improve the overall quality of rural life. As a next step, MaHSIE seeks to encourage and empower aspirants emerging from the grassroots to conceive and pursue innovations relevant to their own socio-economic backgrounds.
- A finishing school for grassroots entrepreneurs - Unlike the mainstream, entrepreneurs emerging from less affluent backgrounds lack the same privilege or exposure as their urban counterparts. By virtue of being based in the aspirational Dholpur district, MaHSIE is strategically positioned to democratise entrepreneurship in the region and serve as a ‘finishing school’ for such aspirants, grooming them to compete in the market on an equal footing.