History

In 1992, Udyogini was created to coordinate and facilitate management training for grassroots women groups for the World Bank Institute funded Women’s Enterprise Management training Outreach Programme (WEMTOP). The mandate of Udyogini was to provide management training to NGO staff in the training of Enterprise Support Teams (TEST) who then trained women producers in Grassroots Management. In fact, Udyogini, as well as other institutions in Africa, supported through this World Bank initiative, developed this concept and manual for Grassroots management Training (GMT), which is now a core activity in Udyogini’s work in India and in many NGO and government programs around the world.


In 1992, when Udyogini was established, micro credit was a new idea and thus Udyogini’s focus on micro enterprise management training was innovative. Udyogini opted to work in what would be considered inhospitable conditions for enterprise development involving socially excluded women at locations with poor access, infrastructure & socio-economic indicators.


In 1996, Udyogini expanded its repertoire of enterprise services for women to include marketing and marketing linkages, credit linkages and initiatives towards federation building. In 1998, Udyogini opened marketing channels for women producers and NGO partners in the crafts sector through a retail outlet that ran for two years in Delhi. Udyogini successfully organized partnerships with International NGO’s to develop export – ready textile and craft items, and established linkages with exhibitions selected upscale stores in Delhi for NGO partners.


In 2002, as a result of a strategic planning process, Udyogini made changes in implementing strategy, deciding to initiate programs to engage directly with grassroots women producers. Since then Udyogini has been primarily involved in the delivery of business development services to these women producers for promoting micro-enterprises. Strategic Planning and Organisation Development exercise induced major changes in the strategy to implement field projects directly to help producers and micro-entrepreneurs to establish their micro-enterprises in Pugal (Bikaner-Rajasthan) and Mandla (M.P.). In Pugal, new genre of craft was developed to serve a medium segment market for highly socially excluded 1000 women with low to medium skills by building local entrepreneurs and UJAS. In M.P, business services were designed and delivered to promote forest and farm based products to enhance the income of 2000 tribal women.


Currently, Udyogini is working with about 50,000 producers and aims to increase its outreach to 1,00,000 producers in 5 states – Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Udyogini has directly impacted value chains (such as lac, vegetables, Sal, herbs and incense-stick) that show potential for scale in difficult market conditions in remote districts that are affected by poverty, conflict or climate challenges and broken enterprise ecosystems. Udyogini also provided business services to NGOs, CBOs and Government projects to build their capacity in designing and delivery of business services.