Ecociate is on the journey of creating an enabling business development ecosystem in emerging markets by undertaking diagnostics (district analysis, value chain analysis, sector/sub-sector identification), identification of potential enterprises through participatory methods for the promotion of rural enterprises (group/collectives and individuals), strengthening of existing rural enterprises, identifying market and value chain development opportunities, provide business development support services and informed pathways to develop a sustainable business. The focus is also on promoting women-led enterprises and green enterprises.
Collectives or enterprises of primary producers, especially small and marginal farmers, artisans, livestock rearers and fisher-folk etc. organized into Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) have emerged as one of the most sought-after pathways to address many challenges of agriculture and allied sectors faced by the smallholders. These farmer-based enterprises are thus primarily formed with a notion of using economies of scale in favour of the small and marginal members and facilitating accrual of better prices, lower transaction costs and reduce expenditure on inputs among other benefits to them.
However, the majority of these enterprises face a plethora of challenges in their path, like creating a well-governed organization to carry out desired functions efficiently and effectively, identifying appropriate business opportunities, incorporating business principles, ensuring statutory compliance, initiating collective enterprises etc. to provide its members better services and products on the one hand and create a surplus for itself on the other. Moreover, deep appreciation of the local context aspects related to (i) need of the farmers (ii) rain-fed or irrigated agriculture, (ii) commodities of the area (e.g., single crop or multi crops), (iii) prevalent service ecosystem, (iv) niche products courtesy ecological farming, organic farming etc. are crucial to determine the growth perspective of the FPO or farmer-based enterprises.
Ecociate has emerged as one of the very few specialized institutions that engage deeper than simple business plan preparation and EDP training to deliver an end-to-end service package particularly designed for the needs of today’s FPOs and enterprises. Ecociate provides its services to the enterprises by identifying business issues and gaps, strategy formulation for FPO, supporting in implementation of the suggested strategies and efficient business operations through IT-led solutions.