Blog Post
April 2022 Newsletter

April 2022 Newsletter

Greetings from deAsra Foundation!

deAsra Foundation has been nurturing entrepreneurship for over 6 years and has shaped the lives of 1 Lac+ entrepreneur. In order to positively impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem, we have also started engaging in research and policy advocacy while leveraging our experience of working with entrepreneurs, community partners and service providers. We are also actively collaborating with entrepreneurship development organisations to design & implement on-ground entrepreneurship programs. We are eager to share some of our recent achievements with you!

Entrepreneurship Excellence Awards

Small businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy. Despite immense hardships faced over the last two years, they have constantly adapted to change and met challenges with courage. Therefore, celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship, deAsra invited small businesses across Pune and PCMC areas to share their growth stories and land a chance to participate in the annual flagship event – the Entrepreneur Excellence Awards. The theme for this year’s awards was celebrating businesses in the food industry.

Stories of some EEA Winners:

Mahesh Londhe (Agro Zee Fresh): Mahesh started researching on immunity boosting products and discovered the benefits of millets. Soon, he started manufacturing organic millet-based products and saw a steady increase in demand for his products. He now has a customer base of 10,000+ and a dedicated app to sell his products!

Watch Mahesh’s growth story here

Ratnawali Ingale (Café U n Me): Ratnawali started Café U n Me, a coffee shop operating on the franchise model with minimum investment and maximum return in rural and urban areas. Here hurdles included educating and encouraging rural women to set up their cafes and become self-sufficient. With a vision to empower women as entrepreneurs, she now has 5 franchises spread across Maharashtra.

Watch Ratnawali’s growth story here

Kaustubh Divekar (Mighty Crust Pizzeria): Kaustubh’s business specializes in serving thin-crust pizza in whopping sizes, loaded with fresh locally sources ingredients. His business started its own delivery system to beat the sizeable commission charged by online food-delivery platforms. Might Crust Pizzeria now has 2 outlets running successfully.

Watch Kaustubh’s growth story here

Digital Banking: Way towards financial inclusion for small businesses

A substantial fraction of 63.88 million MSMEs remain outside the ambit of formal finance and there is continued reliance on informal money markets. Barriers such as high cost, physical distance, lack of proper documentation limit banks’ capacity to assess and manage the credit risks of small businesses. Therefore, digital banking comes into the picture to pave the way for small businesses. Looking forward, India is now in plans of empowering digital banks to support small businesses and achieve more inclusive growth.

Find the detailed op-ed here

Discussing food businesses with nano entrepreneurs

Small businesses, formal and informal, contribute nearly a fifth of the total food product manufacturing output. City areas are comprised of small food businesses such as canteens, poli-bhaji shops, home-food snacks and tiffin businesses. These food businesses were faced with many challenges in the pandemic – shortage and added costs of raw materials, the need to quickly grasp technology and social media marketing, retention of employees, enhancing their hygiene measures.

Find the detailed op-ed here

Discussing Need for Separate Recognition of Nano Enterprises

Consortium of Indian Associations (CIA), an apex MSME body representing around 50 MSME associations spread across the country has demanded the government to create a separate ministry for micro enterprises for better focus and policy support. This is one of the crucial demands raised by the CIA which has potential to impact millions of entrepreneurs and the way smaller businesses operate. As the number suggests, 99% of the 63 million enterprises officially fall in the category of micro-enterprise based on investment and revenue criteria. However, the MSME Development Act, (2006) largely caters to the remaining one per cent enterprises that comprise of small and medium businesses. The micro-enterprise category itself is characterized by heterogeneity, fragmentation and informalization. If we refine categories further, another separate grouping of entrepreneurs and enterprises can be carved out, which we can call nano-entrepreneurs.

Find the detailed op-ed here

If you have any queries or want to collaborate with deAsra on research/policy advocacy work in the space of entrepreneurship, please get in touch with:

Pradnya Godbole (CEO, deAsra Foundation) at


Anshika Kushwaha (Lead- Research & Policy Advocacy – deAsra Foundation) at

Click Here to see the web version

For details on deAsra’s monthly achievements and information on deAsra’s entrepreneurs, please refer to the latest edition of the Monthly Dashboard – Click Here

Click Here to view deAsra’s Annual Report 2020-21

©2022 deAsra Foundation. All rights reserved | 93730 35540

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