Deshpande Foundation

Micro-Entrepreneurship Development Program (MEDP)

Helping small and local entrepreneurs build their businesses and grow to their fullest potential.

About MEDP

Our Micro-Entrepreneurship Development Program (MEDP) helps local micro-entrepreneurs build and grow their sustainable businesses through training, mentorship, monitoring & evaluation, and by implementing best practices. MEDP works with both, individuals as well as clusters of micro-entrepreneurs, to help fulfill their aspirations. MEDP has just entered its second decade this year and is striving towards taking a step towards rural transformation through all its efforts.


MEDP has enabled entrepreneurs and local enterprises to create sustainable business outcomes. It has started to make a significant contribution in transforming the financial ecosystem of rural and semi urban communities in North Karnataka & Telangana.

7000+ Farm Ponds
₹2.48 crores cumulative business
1500+ employment created
1500+ employment created
4900+ MEs supported
4900+ MEs supported
₹14 crores market linkage
₹14 crores market linkage
15,000 MEs oriented
15,000 MEs oriented
₹ 6+ crores credit linkage
₹ 6+ crores credit linkage


I-MEDP (Individual MEs)

This arm of MEDP focuses on individual entrepreneurs, assisting them with networking support, exhibitions, business planning and scaling. In 2021-22, 1500 MEs were supported. All of them continue to be in the ecosystem, aiming to reach and cross the threshold to eventually become successful and self-reliant businesses. I-MEDP witnessed crucial marketing assistance this year, with the largest number of Santhes (exhibitions), achieving the highest revenue yet for our micro-entrepreneurs – ₹51.7 million.

C-MEDP (Clusters)

MEDP is committed to creating an ecosystem for artisans and primary producers in the form of a cluster that uses shared markets, infrastructure, and services, utilizing shared opportunities through economies of scale. Three clusters focused on food, leather and Aari embroidery in Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, and Hubli-Dharwad, respectively, have been established in the last few years.

Food Cluster

MEDP has two units in Uttara Kannada district for dehydrated banana and ginger powder production, each comprising five women members. The idea is to establish a large food cluster in the region and ignite women-led rural transformation.

Leather Cluster

MEDP has established an off-farm producer company in Madabhavi, Karnataka with 210 shareholders to increase the income levels of Kolhapuri chappal artisans by upgrading their skills and installing a state-of-the-art central facility to produce high-quality leather products.

Aari Cluster

An all-women-cluster comprising 200+ artisans spread across Dharwad and Hubballi that aims at helping women earn sustainably and become self-reliant, community-owned enterprises. Six units of the cluster deliver various handmade products, including women's clothing, photo frames, bags, home décor, etc.

Program Offerings

Rural Transformation Technology Center : Purpose

Discovering new leaders with potential to grow from local to global.


  • National Rural Livelihood Mission
  • IIM-Udaipur
  • JSW Foundation
  • Industree Crafts Foundation
  • Flipkart
  • Flourish
  • Poonam Marketing
  • KLE Cybalc
  • Korakari