In Search of Excellence in Rural Transformation: The Mann Ki Baat Cases of Self-Help Group Entrepreneurs
Keywords:Mann Ki Baat, SHGs, Micro-enterprise, Social Capital, Producer Group.
The Prime Minister of India in various episodes of his Mann Ki Baat (MKB) addresses, recognised the
entrepreneurial spirit of the SHG members, their commitment to the community and the innovations
they made. Movement of SHG women groups from thrift to microenterprise provides them access to
capital, shared resources, and pooled knowledge. In this research study an attempt is made to arrive at
factors behind successful entrepreneurial activities of six SHGs which found mention in the Prime
Minister’s MKB address. SWOT analysis of these SHG enterprises is presented. Also, the paper
examines the impact of MKB in strengthening micro-enterprises. Cross-case comparison is done to
bring out the commonalities, variations and success factors of the SHG micro-enterprises that were
From this study, it is found that cluster-based SHG enterprises with multiple groups are more
successful than individual enterprises. These enterprises have often organized their activities around a
cluster of products, some of which are developed from traditional skill, as distinct from single products.
Most SHG enterprises have to carry on end-to-end operations on their own and derive little support from
aggregators. Those SHG enterprises which could plug into established marketing platforms could do
well. Capacities are a key ingredient of success. It is better if capacities are based on traditional
professions, and if such capacities are not available, other unique production capacities need to be
The case studies found an increase in the level of motivation among SHG members after the MKB
address. The social recognition and support base of the SHG members increased substantially. The
SHG members experienced financial strengthening individually and in the group after the Mann Ki Baat
address. This has led to a multiplier effect in the activities of some SHGs especially those which were
functioning in a cluster, thus helping in reaching the unreached.
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