Fellow Since 2009
Livelihoods Equity Connect
This description of Adarsh Kumar's work was prepared when Adarsh Kumar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
Adarsh, schooled in Economics in the USA, is providing venture capital to small agricultural and craft producers who have lifted themselves out of poverty through microfinance. His beneficiaries a no longer the poorest of the poor on account of access to microfinance and markets, but even these successful micro-borrowers face daunting hurdles, namely a lack of larger capital investments for their growing enterprises and their limited abilities to manage their ‘second generation’ companies. By providing professional development to farmers and setting up India’s first venture capital fund making direct equity investments into mid-sized private liability companies co-owned by rural producers, Adarsh Kumar is invigorating a whole section of India’s large agricultural and crafts sector and protecting the possibility for farmers and artisans to climb out of poverty.
The New Idea