Navodyami is an initiative of the Deshpande Foundation based in Hubli, Karnataka to support entrepreneurs at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid with financial and technical support. The focus is on individuals that live in rural and peri-urban areas with limited access to resources but have ideas and the aspiration to run their own enterprise.
Navodyami seeks to provide both resources and linkages to entrepreneurs who are willing to set up these enterprises in the ‘Hubli Sandbox'. Sandbox is an environment where fresh ideas get incubated and one can build a meaningful relationship with like-minded peers, learn from senior leaders and gain access to opportunities that will help them grow. Sandbox region includes districts of Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Uttar Kannada. Some examples could be, an entrepreneur looking to start a food processing unit; a mobile repair shop or services, a product shop in rural areas and so on. The program looks for business ideas that are innovative, responsive to people’s needs and are run by ethical means.
The program will run in two stages. In the first stage, aspiring entrepreneurs submit an application that will be screened by a panel of judges and scholars. Once selected, the entrepreneurs will go to phase II, where they will receive a mentor who focuses on the skill development of the applicant and works with them to create business plan and strategy for setting up the enterprise.
“The foundation has made a remarkable contribution to building an ecosystem that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, focusing on building relevant and responsive solutions to social issues,” said Mr Iranna S. Rotte, Programme Manager, Navodyami.
The Deshpande Foundation was founded by serial entrepreneur, Mr Gururaj Deshpande, in Hubli, Karnataka and has taken the stance to offer assistance to small scale entrepreneurs located in tier II and III cities in north Karnataka.