MLP Resources

How to Use this Web Portal

Web Portal from Madhubalan Viswanathan on Vimeo.

Online Books


Viswanathan, Madhu, Bottom-Up Enterprise: Insights from Subsistence Marketplaces (2016), eBook

More information can be found here.

Final Collage

Viswanathan, Madhu, Subsistence Marketplaces (2013), eBook

More information can be found here.


Hedeman, John, Viswanathan, Madhu, Hanlon, Tom, and Venugopal, Srinivas. Voices from Subsistence Marketplaces. (2017).



We offer several types of educational experiences, from year-long courses to international immersion trips and free online courses. Learn more here.

Videos about the courses and immersion experiences

Visit this page to find videos about (and by) students participating in the immersion experiences and other SMI projects.

Sample itinerary for Indian immersion experience




Assignments related to interviews, ecology videos, Day in the Life videos, and analyses of readings and book chapters can be found here.


Instructions for group projects and case analyses can be found here.

Presentation: Case Study in Bottom-Up Design

Presentation: Additional Project Sample Details


Shakti Rising

Shakti Rising is a movie that evolved out of conversations between Madura Microfinance, a non banking finance company operating across Tamil Nadu, India, that provides small loans to 400,000 rural women along with products that expand market access, and Usha Rajeswari, a documentary filmmaker.

Learn more about the project

The movie, edited for educational purposes, can be accessed here:

Shakti Rising (52 min)
Shakti Rising (1 hr 24 min)


Day in the Life in Subsistence

A series of “Day in the Life” videos produced by the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative can be accessed here:


Immersion Exercises for Understanding Subsistence Marketplaces and Designing Solutions

The exercises can be accessed here:


Subsistence Interviews

Short Interviews

Subsistence Entrepreneur and Consumer

Long Interviews

Country Subsistence Consumer Subsistence Entrepreneur NGO
India Jamuna Mythili Health Manorama
Janaki Natarajan
Sumitra Velamma
Tanzania Maria Kathy Kent-Environment
Peter – Tribal Leader
Argentina Beth-Doctor


Enterprise Plans, Presentations, and Instructional Resources

Projects Date Enterprise Plans Presentations Instructional Resources
ActivEdge (Nutrition) 2008 Open Open
AgICT (agriculture) 2017 Open
Asha (Education) 2011 Open Open
Bala Shakthi (Education) 2012 Open
Box (Post-Harvest) 2015 Open Open
CoGrow (Post-Harvest) 2016 Open Open
Dhanyam Labham (Post-Harvest) 2014 Open Open
Genomics 2017 Open
Grameen (Value Chain) 2012 Open Open
H2O Solutions (Safe Water) 2015 Open Open
IPT (Prosthetics) 2012 Open Open
Kutoa (Sanitation) 2012 Open Open
Meshure (Women) 2017
Microsoft (Education) 2012 Open Open
Namascan (Health) 2016 Open Open
Panacea (Health) 2017 Open
Pyramid (Post-Harvest) 2015 Open Open
Rural ICT (Agriculture) 2017
Safe Water (SGW) 2013 Open Open
Sangam (IT Communication) 2012 Open Demo
Seamless Transition (Disaster shelter) 2012 Open Open
Sol (Clean Cooking) 2015 Open
Soy Choyce (Nutrition) 2012 Open Open
Sunstuff (Solar water heater) 2009 Open Open
Surya Sun Bucket (Clean Cooking) 2016 Open Open
TownSchool (Education) 2012 Open Open
Vision Spring (Eye Care) 2012 Open Open
Vita Jeevan (Nutrition) 2012 Open Open
Waterfish (Safe Water) 2016 Open Open
Wazi (Safe Water) 2015 Open Open


Using Frameworks to Refine Business Plans

The fillable pdf above provides a convenient way for students to map different framework-elements introduced in lessons to the specificities of their own projects.

Business Plan Outline

The fillable pdf above provides a convenient way for students to develop different parts of the business plan.

Poverty Simulation

This is an online game designed to simulate what life is like for a woman living in poverty in India. Players guide the main character through the course of a week and make choices in response to events as they unfold.

Play the Simulation


Voices from Subsistence

Voices From Subsistence was created with the idea of bringing out the lives and stories of those we’ve met while working in various parts of the world.

Learn More