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 received income tax exemption under 80G, 35AC 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.
Udyogini came into existence in 1992, entered the micro enterprise domain through the ‘Women’s Enterprise Management Training Outreach Program’ (WEMTOP), which was initiated and funded by the World Bank Institute. Through this support Udyogini 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. Ela Bhatt, the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a founding member of Udyogini and was its first Chairperson. Since then Udyogini has evolved as a service provider and resource agency and the various phases of its journey are explained below.