Today I had the privilege to meet Chetna Sinha, the woman behind Mann Deshi Bank, Mann Deshi Foundation and Mann Deshi Business School courtesy of Ashoka.
In 1997 Chetna Sinha a natural-born leader from Bombay founded Mann Deshi Bank. At the time MDB was India’s first rural financial institution to receive a cooperative license from the Reserve Bank of India. Today Mann Deshi is the largest micro finance bank in Maharashtra with over 140,000 customers.
The Mann Deshi Business School provides training in technical, financial and marketing skills to women with no formal education and to girls who have dropped out of high school, allowing them to start and improve their own small enterprises. Over 40,000 have graduated from the Business School and of these graduates, 60% have gone on to start their own businesses. WOW!!
The Mobile Business School for Rural Women is the Mann Deshi Foundation’s most innovative and disruptive solution to making it’s range of courses accessible to women who due to financial or cultural constraints would be unable to access training in a central location. A bus has been designed and converted to operate as a mobile classroom which will travel from village to village within Maharashtra and Karnataka, isn't that awesome!
As a social entrepreneur I realised how much more we can do and how little we try!