ToeHold Artisans Collaborative: Building Entrepreneurial Capabilities to Tackle Poverty

Sindhu Shanmugam (First Author), S. Ramakrishna Velamuri (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Toehold Artisans Collaborative (TAC) is a project launched by the Asian Center for Entrepreneurship Initiatives (ASCENT), a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, to build entrepreneurial capacity in a community of footwear artisans of the small southern Indian town of Athani. Prior to ASCENT's involvement, which began in 1998, the artisans of Athani were making a subsistence wage, which did not even guarantee them two square meals a day. They could not send their children to school and were thus suffering from economic stagnation. TAC is an established Group Enterprise of 14 women Self Help Groups (SHG). Even though women's SHGs are the direct stakeholders, the men are not left out — they are treated as co-preneurs for all inputs, exposure to international fairs and production purposes. The front end of TAC is a customer-centric business enterprise that has taken the exquisite footwear brand 'ToeHold™' to challenging international mainstream markets. The backend is an artisan-ce)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-213
JournalAsian Case Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Social enterprise
  • artisan
  • entrepreneur
  • footwear

Indexed by

  • ABDC-C
  • Scopus
  • ESCI


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