Bridges Between Tradition and Innovation in Ethnomedicine

Fostering Local Development Through Community-Based Enterprises in India

  • Maria Costanza Torri
  • Thora Martina Herrmann

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 1-6
  3. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 7-42
  4. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 43-84
  5. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 121-143
  6. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 145-176
  7. Maria Costanza Torri, Thora Martina Herrmann
    Pages 177-207
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 209-222

About this book


Community-based enterprises are the result of a process in which the community acts entrepreneurially to create and operate a new enterprise embedded in its existing social structure and network. This book argues that community-based enterprise could represent a strategy for fostering sustainable local development while at the same time maintaining traditional knowledge in ethnomedicine and conserving the local ecosystems.

The overall purpose of this monographic study is to investigate a new entrepreneurial approach which offers an alternative to the mainstream one and to analyze its possible contribution at the grassroots level in the herbal sector, a domain where local communities still play to a large extent a marginalised role. This innovative approach is represented by community-based enterprises (CBEs) active in India.

The study of indigenous populations and their different forms of entrepreneurships is not simply an exercise in analysing outliers in the global world-system. Rather, it provides a source for the theoretical and empirical analysis of entrepreneurship relevant to the development of generalisable theory applicable in many environments including, but by no means exclusive to, indigenous communities.

This volume analyses the very first community-based enterprise active in the herbal sector in India, the GMCL (Gram Mooligai Company Limited). It demonstrates that the GMCL example provides a unique model of how a community-based enterprise could represent an alternative and promising model for development of local communities. It is an unconventional form of entrepreneurship, in that it is based on regarding collective and individual interests as fundamentally complementary, and views communal values and the notion of the common good as essential elements in venture creation.


India entrepreneurship ethnomedicine local health women

Authors and affiliations

  • Maria Costanza Torri
    • 1
  • Thora Martina Herrmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of MontrealMontréalCanada

Bibliographic information