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CMH: Creative Manufacturing & Handmade

Creative Manufacturing & Handmade employs decentralised, often non-automated modes of production rooted in creativity, culture and craftsmanship, and encompasses a wide range of economic activities across the farm-to-consumer value chain, including small-batch production and boutique manufacturing, while relying heavily on renewable agricultural inputs. CMH works across fashion, home-decor and lifestyle, e-commerce and retail, craft-tech, culture-tech etc. The term was first used by Powered by People in their report, Creative Manufacturing and Handmade — A Sector Whose Time Has Come (2021).

Creative Economy

The creative economy is a sum of all parts of the creative and cultural industries which operate at the intersection of arts, culture, commerce, and technology.

CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility

A business approach that companies follow to create social and environmental impact, and focus beyond profits.


Culture-tech solutions streamline and enhance creative and cultural practices by providing more efficient approaches to modern problems like mass production, loss of biodiversity, socio-cultural issues, ergonomics, etc. 

D2C: Direct to Consumer

When a business sells its products directly to its consumers, eliminating middle-men in the process, it is called Direct-to-Consumer / Business-to-Consumer

DFIs: Development Finance Institutions

DFIs are specialised development banks or subsidiaries set up to support private sector development in developing countries by providing a range of financial services such as loans or guarantees to investors and entrepreneurs, equity participation in firms or investment funds and financing for public infrastructure projects.

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning refers to a type of software that organisations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. It integrates all processes needed to run an organisation into a single system.

FCRA: Foreign Contribution Regulation Act

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act enables the Government to control and scrutinize the receipt and utilization of foreign funds by non governmental organizations in India.

HCM: Handmade and Craft-led MSME

HCM refers to Handmade and Craft-Led MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises). These include social, creative and impact enterprises or small / growing businesses working in the Creative Manufacturing and Handmade sector employing artisans and creative producers of diverse skill-sets and working to deliver products and experiences across fashion, home-decor, cultural experiences, craft-tech, culture-tech, and more.


A ‘Hybrid’ enterprise in India is when an organisation sets up two distinct legal entities: a for-profit and a nonprofit that operate in parallel, keeping an arm's distance to effectively address, legitimise as well as operationalise commercial and impact goals. In the CMH sector, this two entity set-up is also created to maximise an enterprise’s options to access financing while simultaneously growing and building a brand.

IP: Intellectual Property

IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce and is protected by law through patents and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. 

MFI: Micro Finance Institutions

MFIs provide financial services such as savings, credit, and insurance to low-income clients, including the self-employed. Typically, micro-finance loan sizes range between ₹10,000 to ₹1,00,000.

Missing Middle

A gap that exists in the capital landscape of MSMEs — especially when it comes to accessing risk financing, usually in the range of $20,000 to $500,000 — whose needs are not met by traditional financing sources. These enterprises are too big for microfinance institutions but too small for large banks and venture capitalists and not even big enough to list on their own. In India’s HCM landscape, this spectrum shows a further expansion.

MSME: Micro, Small Medium Enterprises

The Government of India defines micro, small, and medium enterprises on the basis of investment (plant / machinery / equipment) and annual turnover. 

As formal enterprises, MSMEs can avail benefits such as subsidies on patent registration, electricity bills, and collateral-free loans. Most crafts-based enterprises/startups tend to fall within the MSME category. However, they are often left behind because their requirement for capital, approach to labour relationships, etc. differ significantly from other formal enterprises.

  • Micro: Investment - ₹1 crore and Turnover - ₹5 crores

  • Small: Investment - ₹10 crores and Turnover - ₹50 crores

  • Medium: Investment - ₹50 crores and Turnover - ₹250 crores

NBFC: Non Banking Financial Company

NBFCs are financial entities that provide bank-like services and products including loans, insurance, and asset management, but do not possess a banking license. 

OpEx: Operational Expenditure

Operational Expenditure is the money an organisation spends on an ongoing, day-to-day basis in running the business. 

PO Financing: Purchase Order Financing

PO Financing is a short-term loan or advance that provides small businesses with the requisite liquidity needed to fulfill orders. 

SHG: Self-Help Groups

An informal community-based association of 10-20 women from similar socio-economic backgrounds. Each SHG is given a unique ID and name for identification. The group functions as a financial intermediary for savings and credit, even serves as a platform to advocate for local issues.

SIDBI: Small Industries Development Bank of India

SIDBI is the apex regulatory body for overall licensing and regulation of micro, small and medium enterprise finance companies in India.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans do not require any underlying security or collateral. 

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