Udyogini - means woman entrepreneur. Udyogini, the organization, is registered as a Society under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860. It is also registered under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act and enjoys income tax exemption under 80G and 12A of the Income Tax Act. It works with poor, mainly illiterate, women to improve their skills as producers and their knowledge of the markets they operate in, so as to ensure long-term returns. We have field programs in Rajasthan, MP, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, and Orissa but provide a variety of enterprise services in many other states as well including the Northeast.

In rural India women provide for their families' basic needs by contributing to farm labour and by subsistence level income generation. These income generating activities are as varied as running a rice dehusking unit; operating an oil press; collecting, selling and processing minor forest produce; embroidering on textiles and leather; and, making baskets from local varieties of grass. In a market-ascendant world, Udyogini is involved in facilitating the development of agriculture, non-timber forest produce, artisan and service retail microenterprises where women are not only producers but also managers and entrepreneurs involved in a variety of value-added tasks. Udyogini facilitates the learning of relevant management and technical skills that are required for making such microenterprises profitable and increase incomes of women producers-- skills needed not only to manage their production but also to market their products in a better way and ensure better returns.

Udyogini came into existence in 1992 as a service provider for micro enterprise management services, principally training for poor, assetless and mainly illiterate women in the backward states of India. Ela Bhatt, the founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) is a founding member of Udyogini and was its first Chairperson. As a specialized agency, on this date, and when there is recognition of the need to go 'beyond credit' to enable women to invest in productive activities, Udyogini is placed at the very center of developing cutting-edge knowledge and practice for microenterprises for the poor, especially women. Back in the early 1990s, when Udyogini was established, the focus on microenterprise management training was innovative at a time when even microcredit was a new idea. Udyogini took an early lead in the domain by motivating smaller NGOs towards microenterprise in their portfolio of programs for poverty alleviation for women. It enabled NGOs, through a program of sustained support comprising training for enterprise awareness, management and counseling, to move into developing microenterprise programs and having staff with orientation to microenterprise. The NGOs that have grown and now have established microenterprise programs such as URMUL, SURE and LUPIN in Rajasthan; NIPDIT and Samanwita in Orissa and ADITHI in Bihar are distinguished alumni of Udyogini's enterprise motivation and management training.

Udyogini, supported through a World Bank initiative, developed the concept of 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 such as in Peru, other Andean and African countries and Romania.

Udyogini's vision and perspective on microenterprises for women has always been to empower women to understand and participate in critical enterprise processes. As the market gains prominence, the need for women to become knowledgeable, confident and lead enterprises just as they have led microcredit initiatives becomes critical.

Udyogini's innovative efforts to establish theory and practice for women's microenterprise knowledge, promotion and service provision for outreach are in this site. We hope you enjoy browsing through it.