Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2009
Livelihood Connect


This profile was prepared when Adarsh Kumar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
In India, rapid macroeconomic growth has created new opportunities for poor producers to access growing markets and increase their incomes. But no viable models of providing support services such as investment capital and business development inputs have been developed.

Believing that demonstrating commercially viable models in the form of private producer-owned companies have the ability to jumpstart commercial investment in the large class of producers in rural communities, Adarsh started Livelihood Equity Connect (LEC). In LEC, he is seeking to establish a new and commercially sustainable model that will create a favorable environment for greater investments and enterprise growth to enhance the livelihoods of grassroots producers.

The venture capital amounts that Adarsh will invest in producer-owned companies will be small compared to what traditional venture capitalists are accustomed to dealing with. However, by developing and organizing many producer groups, he will create investment opportunities for fixed assets in sectors like dairy and fishing, bundle the services to investors, and prove that such investments can be made profitably. He will also prove that the equity investment in producer-owned entities can be an opportunity to provide these groups with business advice and assistance, enable their success as enterprises, and expand the opportunity to scale up their operations.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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