About Deshpande Foundation India

Deshpande Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation was founded by Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande in 1996 in the USA with an aim to provide nurturing ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship, empowered communities.

Deshpande Foundation India was launched with the Hubli Sandbox in 2007 to unleash the development potential of five tier-II and tier-III districts in North-western Karnataka.

A Sandbox comprises of a compact geographical area where an enabling ecosystem is created for change-makers to implement indigenous solutions, addressing diverse community challenges From providing grants to effective local non-profits to equipping unemployed youth with job-oriented skill-sets, and empowering entrepreneurs to create successful enterprises, we apply a multi-pronged approach to catalyze bottom-up development of these budding cities. The Sandbox aims to be a hub for innovation that is local and contextual, yet can scale widely while achieving far-reaching impact. It combines the execution excellence of for-profits and the compassion of non-profits.

Inspired by the success of this model, three more Sandboxes, have emerged in the states of Telangana (Kakatiya and Nalgonda) and Uttar Pradesh (Ek Soch).


We envision a world where increasing numbers of individuals and organizations are driven by entrepreneurial energy to create and grow enterprises that address social challenges and, or market opportunities.


Our mission is to strengthen local ecosystems, build leaders and entrepreneurs, and catalyze innovative thinking to accelerate the creation of sustainable, scalable enterprises that have significant social and economic impact. We believe that when innovation and relevance are combined with appropriate support, organizations thrive and benefit millions of people. We aim for a world in which individuals and organizations whose passion, creativity and entrepreneurial inspiration drive new approaches, to solve problems to improve our standard and quality of living.

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