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Mann Deshi Bank

Born in Mumbai, Chetna Sinha abandoned the urban lifestyle to pursue a career in farming in the drought-prone area of Maharashtra in Western India. As a result, she experienced first-hand the difficulties facing women in this region, from the lack of financial support to the fact that they are not treated as viable entrepreneurs. She went on to develop India’s first rural co-operative bank owned by women. The Mann Deshi Mahila Bank is a micro-enterprise development bank working with low-income women, which provides business loans. She established a business school for rural women to provide training in entrepreneurial skills. Since 1996, Sinha has been organizing women in rural areas of Maharashtra in the fight for land and property rights and she launched a community radio station, providing a platform for sharing information. She also set up a toll-free hotline linked to India’s Chamber of Commerce to give rural women financial advice. Mann Deshi aspires to launch 1 million rural women entrepreneurs through partnerships with social enterprises and mainline financial institutions in India. Sinha was named India Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 for her work with Mann Deshi, and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
Award Categories:
Gender Equality
Award Year:
2016
Nominee URL:
Mann Deshi Bank

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