Abstract: Social enterprises envisage maximizing the socio-economic welfare of the society and are unique community-level institutions working towards sustainable development. These organizations often engage at a local level and their collective and tangible actions can resolve community-level growth issues amicably. This is quite imperative in the context of the bottom of the pyramid population where such organizations implement breakthrough innovations to achieve social as well as economic objectives. The relevance of such organizations is even greater in the context of women empowerment which is a pre-condition for sustainable development in an emerging economy like India. Women in India, especially those in the rural areas have remained underprivileged from mainstream education, employment, and productive resources leading to their marginalization as well associal and economic exclusion.
This case attempts to demonstrate efforts and underscores the progress made by Mann Deshi - an umbrella group of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann DeshiFoundation in the state of Maharashtra serving at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP). Mann Deshi was established in the year 1997 as a cooperative bank and has been working to increase banking and financial access for poor women. During their journey, apart from banking, they have resolved several community-level peripheral issues and have created a cadre of women as micro-entrepreneurs or at the grass root level who are served through the rural banks.
It provides a strategic road map for Mann Deshi and several other social enterprises like cooperatives, NGOs, and other community-based organizations that strive to take their respective business entities to a higher growth path without compromising on sustainable development. It also throughs open the challenge for growth at national level and replicating the model in different economies where social structure may be different.
This case is mainly written with the following objectives:
1. To study the business model of Mann Deshi an umbrella group of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation in the state of Maharashtra
2. To understand the actions of cooperatives in the BoP and their impact on sustainability dimensions
3. To focus on exploring the role of social entrepreneurship in community development and women empowerment
4. To explore the possible ways and means for the growth of social enterprises in the future.