Upaya Social Ventures has announced its maiden investment in FreshNet Farms, a Tamil Nadu-based agribusiness, which was also a part of companies trained through Upaya Social Ventures’ accelerator program for high-potential social businesses.
“FreshNet farms’ single crop focus and deep operational expertise in the value chain is compelling, as a lot of edible by-products and non-food by-products, such as activated carbon and charcoal, can be manufactured, which presents a massive market potential for future growth.”AB Chakravarthy,Country Director,Upaya
FreshNet Farms- a platform for employing and assisting rural farmers
Founded by Senthil Kumar, FreshNet Farms Pvt Ltd is a social enterprise that strives to build a global marketplace for coconut farmers, raise their net worth, and improve the living standards of smallholder coconut farmers in the country.
Senthil Kumar conceived the idea of the business intending to create efficiencies in the disorganised coconut value chain while improving the village economy or the economy of the farmers.
Coming from an agricultural background himself, Senthil spent 17 years working on his farm in Hosur, where he grew various flowers and vegetables. Later, he enrolled for an MBA in Agribusiness from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University to move a step closer to achieving his ultimate goal—to assist rural farmers and their families.
Before launching FreshNet farms, Senthil had more than fifteen years of professional and entrepreneurial experience in agribusiness strategy & consulting. He has also undertaken various national and international agricultural research and development projects.
“FreshNet Farms is exactly the kind of company that Upaya seeks out — a strong, focused business model that succeeds based on excellent execution. The more they grow, the more opportunity they create for the people they employ and the farmers they procure from.”Upaya CEO Kate Cochran
She further stated, “As a Social Entrepreneur, I am fully excited and thrilled to work with Upaya Social Ventures and firmly believe that they are the perfect strategic and investing partner to realise FreshNet Farms’ dream of empowering rural youth and improving the livelihoods of low-income families in India through crop value chain business.“
FreshNet Farms provides processing and employment to unemployed rural youth and citizens belonging to remote communities. The enterprise is providing convenience and transparency to coconut agriculturalists through farm gate collection, reasonable prices, and timely payments.
Upaya’s unique working model
Upaya Social Ventures is a microfinance, not-for-profit organisation that serves the Indian community by providing job opportunities with food security, health care, housing aid, skill training, and financial assistance.
Upaya’s goal is to generate dignified jobs for the poorest of the poor, those who earn less than $1.90 a day, by providing investment and advisory help for enterprises that can scale. It provides investment capital, professional capacity-building, and a solid network to early-stage entrepreneurs engaged in generating employment for the poor. The companies are selected based on their effect and capacity to give sustainable livelihoods to underprivileged populations in India.