About

ProGreen is a social venture committed to bringing marginalized communities in rural areas to the mainstream of economic activity, through:

  • Identifying, harnessing sustainable business opportunities
  • Formation of rural micro cooperatives

What does this mean?
India has seen robust economic growth in the past decade. However, the social and economical impact of such growth has been largely restricted to urban areas and certain rural pockets. 70% of the Indian population still lives in rural areas; there is a need to bring marginalized communities in rural areas to the mainstream of economic activity.

ProGreen is committed to bringing marginalized communities in rural areas to the mainstream of economic activity through:

  • Identifying, harnessing sustainable business opportunities
  • Such business opportunities will be commercialized by ProGreen through formation of rural micro-cooperatives
  • ProGreen will bring about social change initiated through economic empowerment of rural communities

Is ProGreen a non-profit?
No, ProGreen is a profit making entity! Surprising?

How can that be possible?
ProGreen was founded based on the principles of Social Entrepreneurship. Such ventures aim at creating dual value – Social Value and Economic value. Thus, ProGreen will be an economic entity, driven by strong business fundamentals, and rigorous professionalism. At the same time, ProGreen will only work with marginalized communities in rural areas. Such communities will be stakeholders and business partners for ProGreen. One day they will become shareholders!

The cornerstone of the ProGreen model is the formation of these ‘micro-cooperatives’ and having a strong market-oriented approach towards livelihood development. ProGreen has identified other such innovative market-driven opportunities, that make strong business sense, to empower rural communities.

ProGreen believes that there is very tight interdependence between profit and social good. You can’t make a profit without having a positive social impact! (Those words had to be borrowed from Pierre Omidyar)

Sustainable Business Opportunity
Any livelihood creation tool for people in the grass roots should make strong economic sense. Subsidies don’t work anymore. Simply put, there are ‘no free lunches’. However, ‘smart business ideas’, that can deliver exceptional value and at the same time, enable people to earn a decent livelihood, is the only way forward. ProGreen will identify such ideas and put them to work.

Micro-cooperatives, never heard of them before
ProGreen believes that for any grass-roots initiative to work, it should be owned by the community. The cooperative movement began when Ranibhai in Gujarat, owned a cow, but never could make enough money to eat three square meals a day. Suddenly, the glowing bulb thing happened to Dr. Kurien, who thought it made sense to get together a few more of Ranibhai’s friends, who also owned cows, collect their milk produce, make cheese and sell in Bombay. It worked. Unfortunately, India exceeded its quota on cows, so we have excess capacity in that front.

ProGreen intends to replicate that model, in a much smaller level. Livelihood opportunities usually work much better by making use of local resources and skills. To put such ideas to work, ProGreen will form micro-cooperatives.

Hey, we are the real ProGreen!
Oops, sorry folks. We never meant to infringe on your brand name. As you can see we have nothing to do with your line of business, In fact, when we actually came up with the name we never realized that you folks already existed. Can we please keep it for now until we find a new name? We don’t intend to sell products bearing the ProGreen name!

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