My name is Bhavesh Wankhade and my social enterprise, Alluvial Agro, benefitted greatly from the British Asian Trust’s incubation project when it was just a fledgling business.
I have been witnessing farmer suicides since I was a child, and always wanted to improve their lives. After completing my Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Science, I setup my own social enterprise, Alluvial Agro, that works with small and
marginalised farmers in Maharashtra (India). We build their capacity by training them in biodynamic and sustainable farming practices.
We’re currently working with 2,500 farmers in three parts of Maharashtra – Vidarbha, western Maharashtra and the Konkan region.
When I started out, we were all over the place – trying to do absolutely everything in the value chain. I knew I had to streamline quickly for greater impact but didn’t know the best way to go about it. I turned to British Asian Trust partner UnLtd India’s incubation programme for help at just the right time. They helped me to fine-tune my business model. The workshops, including financial modelling, business development and fundraising, have helped me grow as an entrepreneur. And the mentoring and peer support have enabled me to understand the industry much better. I will be grateful forever for being selected and supported by UnLtd India and the British Asian Trust.
The British Asian Trust has been supporting the work of UnLtd since 2016, to identify, fund and support a portfolio of early stage social entrepreneurs who are building high-impact solutions within the ‘Farm to Fork’ value chain. We have been focused on finding solutions that can work for smallholder farmers and providing them with incubation support. We have supported 17 entrepreneurs through this project to date.