The Deshpande foundation, working in the northwest Karnataka region since 1996, has made a remarkable contribution to building an ecosystem that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, focusing on building relevant and responsive solutions to social issues. We took another step in this direction and launched the Navodyami program this year May2011.
Navodyami seeks to unleash entrepreneurship at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid. Through this initiative we focus on individuals that live in rural and peri-urban area, have limited access to resources but have ideas and the aspiration to run their own enterprise. Navodyami seeks to fill these gaps and provide both resources and linkages to entrepreneurs who are willing to set up these enterprises in the Sandbox.
When the Navodyami program was first launched, 580 applicants submitted their applications to the Deshpande foundation. After being thoroughly reviewed by expert judges, 145 applicants were shortlisted. We divided applicants into five batches for training in Hubli, Gadag, and Sirshi. Each Navodyami applicant has gone through three rounds of workshops on market orientation, business plan creation, and several brainstorming sessions on how their idea could become more robust and viable. All applicants have gone through screening based on the strength of their idea, entrepreneurship potential and long-term scalability of the idea proposed. For the final round, a total of 45 Navodyami applicants were selected to be given final interviews from the Judges