Navodyami – Enabling Micro-entrepreneurs Thirve
-An Initiative by Deshpande Foundation

The Context
Navodyami program is one such Innovative program of Deshpande Foundation started in 2011 which is geared to create, support and scale micro-entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid. Navodyami is the one of the few programs running in Northwest Karnataka that combines training micro-entrepreneurs and  direct marketing for and on behalf of micro-entrepreneurs and help them to turnaround their turnover to about three to five times in two years time.

Navodyami Program leverages the entrepreneurial ecosystem built by Deshpande Foundation over a decade. Dense network of Entrepreneurs connected with Foundation and over 100 organisations working in the field of Livelihoods and Agriculture and other area provide a wonderful environment for micro-entrepreneurs to draw support from.

Navodyami program works to make micro-entrepruneurship a viable proposition as a livelihood. Currently challenges of a micro-entrepreneur venturing into an enterprise are far too many. Often times meagre sources of income, few assets and  resources, simultaneous pressure of supporting family while stabilising an enterprise and absence of guidance makes ‘risk taking’ for micro-entrepreneurs much more difficult than a what a large entrepreneur faces. There are also operational difficulties involved in running a microenterprise because of the sheer small size and scale of operation as many micro-entrepreneurs single handedly manage their marketing, manufacturing, production and procurement of material all. However the yet biggest obstacle still remains is marketing for micro-entrepreneurs. Challenge is always to be able to create space and demand in mainstreamed market among high end stable customer base. Hence most micro-entrepreneurs are forced to sustain themselves at lower margins and depend on few wholesalers and mediators to find market for their products.

Navodyami Program takes on these challenges and creates an enabling condition for those who like to turn their ideas into action. Through award competition we attract those neo innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about their enterprise but are being held up for reasons of inadequate financial and mentorship support.

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