Udyogini was set up to co-ordinate and facilitate management training for grassroots women's groups for the World Bank Institute-funded Women's Enterprise Management Training Outreach Program (WEMTOP). This was a three-year participatory action-learning project aimed at developing an appropriate curriculum and visual-based training materials on micro enterprise management to build capacity in NGOs to do enterprise as well as to train women at the grassroots to manage enterprises. The training program consisted of Grassroots Management Training (GMT) carried out for women producers and the Training of Enterprise Support Teams (TEST) for the trainers of GMT.
It was exciting that Udyogini was able to train so many women and NGOs that worked with women and continues to do so. But to remain at the cutting-edge in building women's capacity for enterprise, Udyogini had to help them maneuver in emerging and complex market conditions. This meant piloting and scaling a range of business services directly at the grassroots to from mobilization to market. Hence, in 2002, for its grassroots initiatives, Udyogini selected sectors of the economy in which women were concentrated in large numbers and in which they were mainly producers or wage laborers. It selected locations that were remote and, hence, underserved but still offered a resource base – either skills or natural resources -- that could be harnessed for enterprise development. Udyogini undertakes microenterprise initiatives in such locations covering a range of business development services (BDS).
By early 2010, Udyogini had a presence in 7 states of North, Central and Eastern India working on aggregating and/or value-addition to commodities as diverse as lac, mahua, honey, bamboo, silk, other medicinal plants, maize, mustard, vegetables, and pulses and services like child-care centers --- demonstrating considerable scale and breadth of experience and impact. It had also facilitated registration of producers' institutions called UJAS in three of its locations. UJAS is now an established national brand identity for producer-owned entities and business products.
Most significantly, in 2010, it has taken up the challenge of microenterprise development for older sex workers who want to move out of the profession and want to ensure that their young daughters develop employable skills so that they are not vulnerable to sex work.