Overview of Social Enterprises in Auroville

Most of the approx. 230 active social enterprises originally started off in order to fulfil a certain need of Auroville, either mechanical engineering needs, software services, recording music, to pioneer new technologies or simply to generate money. For example, Auroville produces a world-class wind pumping system, the need for which arose in the 1970s to pump water to nurture the afforestation efforts of the Auroville bio-region. Now, this technology has been constantly improved, innovated and commercialised, meeting the needs of Auroville and elsewhere in India.

Similarly, many other enterprises have moved in a cycle of needs or new technology, stabilising the product through in-house research and use, leading to commercialising the technology or goods for outside use.

  • Keystone of Auroville's Experimental Economy

    33% of all profits go towards Auroville
  • Non-polluting, Beautiful and Lively

    Units designed to be ecologically sensitive and add beauty to the space
  • Enriching Neighbouring Villages

    Providing abundant employment and growth opportunities for nearby villages
Purpose of Creating Social Enterprises
  1. To create abundance for the growth of Auroville. 
  2. To contribute towards building a common collective prosperity. 
  3. To express beauty and harmony in matter. 
  4. To build and strengthen a shared economy. 
  5. To provide a healthy and sustainable environment for the development of people from Auroville, the Bioregion, India and the World. 
  6. To develop while maintaining a harmony with nature and environment. 
  7. To support fair trade practices
  8. To support fair and lawful labor relations. 

General Principles of Conduct

  1. All actions as a service and offering to the Divine. 
  2. A spirit of non-ownership above personal possession. 
  3. Conduct of stewardship on behalf of all the residents and Humanity as a whole. 
  4. Trusteeship on behalf of the collectivity. 
  5. Adherence to Indian Laws and the Spirit of Auroville. 
  6. Transparent in representations. 
  7. Generosity and sharing of resources

Maroma at Auroville
Pioneering Technologies

For most of the entrepreneurs the motivation to run an  enterprise is something like: "It gives me a chance to express my creativity" - for our potters, designers, architects and such, or "To establish and promote sustainable practices" - in the area of organic foods, renewable energy, natural dyeing, high class appropriate building technologies, etc. Most of these pioneering technologies face competition from generic products like fertiliser based agricultural practices, fossil fuel generated electricity, chemical dyeing of textiles, and such like. The sustaining environment of Auroville not only nurtures but encourages these difficult, nascent technologies, enabling them to flourish and be promoted in Auroville to further the aim of a sustainable lifestyle.

Aureka's Wind Pumps
Auroville Board of Commerce

The Auroville Board of Commerce (ABC) comprises executives of all social enterprises, who appoint a Core Group to take care of the day-to-day activities. The Core Group of the Board meets regularly to approve the opening of new units, handle applications for business credits, co-ordinate yearly auditing of accounts, and advise  enterprises regarding accounts, finance, marketing, management, etc.

Unique Challenge of Auroville

Perhaps the greatest challenge that Auroville social enterprises face is to be efficient and productive in a way which conforms to normal business standards without compromising the spirit and ethics of Auroville.

Given present trends, commercial activities will have to expand in order to provide a larger source of income for the general maintenance of Auroville, while also creating employment opportunities for its growing population and people from the local villages.  Enterprises need to be encouraged to meet the demands of Auroville, and funds need to be found to help new enterprise startups.

Influence on Village life

Apart from the Aurovilians, who work on a voluntary basis for a maintenance allowance, Auroville employs some 4,000 people from the local villages, whose work typically covers anything from agriculture to engineering, cleaning, gardening, driving, accounting, teaching, commerce and supervising.

There is also a blossoming of small-scale businesses, not belonging to Auroville, in the surrounding villages, like building contractors, handicraft workshops, taxi operators, boutiques, shops, etc, all of whom may have derived direct or indirect support from Auroville.

Eco Femme washable cloth pads, made by a women’s collective in Auroville for a living wage.
List of Social Enterprises in Auroville

Auroville has around 230 social enterprises providing employment to around 5000 people from the surrounding villages.

Arts & Crafts: 

  • Aladin  provides handmade paper lampshades, wall lamps, hanging lamps.
  • Aureate  features the art works of Hans Isler: multi-colored glass tiles consisting of two or more glass layers with soft colleges in colored glass.
  • Auroline produces postcards, photographic books, calendars.
  • Auromics : knitting, crochet and hand stitched leather, using natural fibers and leather.
  • Auromirayan for leather goods (shoes, handbags, belts) 
  • Auromode Manufacturer and wholesaler of sarees, kaftans, blouses, ties and scarves in silk, crepe, georgette, cottons, linen and viscose
  • Auro Hi-Tech Metal work, brass casting, repair of fridges
  • Aurokriya: T-shirts
  • Auro Rachana: Antiques and restored classic furniture
  • Auroville Printers: printing, book binding and stationery items
  • Auroville Press: offset printing plus graphic design
  • Bijou: beaded wear, tapestries and jewellery
  • Discovery: garments, bags and purses, dolls
  • Auroville Press: Handmade paper and publications 
  • Filaure: Garments and children's clothing
  • Flame: stoneware 
  • Ganesh Beads:Fancy leather bags, beaded and crochet shoes
  • Gecko ! : clothing collections
  • Ikebana: Teaching and preparation of flower arrangements by Valeria 
  • Imagination Japanese Art Furniture: by Kenji 
  • Joy Postcards: Postcards and visual documentation on India
  • L'etoile du Sud Studio: Designing, promoting and marketing AV products
  • Lotus Fraternity: Hammocks, hammock chairs, cloth bags
  • Lumiere: Screen printing
  • Magica: Classic, modern and ethnic jewellery
  • Mandala Pottery : Handmade pottery items & other ceramics 
  • Mantra: Handmade glazed stoneware/pottery items and tiles
  • Maroma: Perfumes, incense, floral candles, gift sets etc.
  • Matrigold: Gold-in-glass jewellery, Silver-in-glass jewellery
  • Mereville: Incense
  • Miniature: Designer fashion, ready-made garments
  • New Creation Fraternity Crafts: Hammocks and other handicraft items
  • New School Crafts: Ayurvedic food products, incense
  • Nymphea Creations: Interior decorative items
  • OK upcycling: bags, hats, etc, all made of recycled materials
  • Papyrus: printing, book binding, stationery, displays, paper
  • Plastic Seasongs: plastic fabricated items, bags, accessories
  • Prisma: advertising, design, DTP, text preparation & editing 
  • Rangoli: garments
  • Santosham: children's clothes and bags
  • Shradhanjali: pressed flower stationery; lampshades, trays, screens
  • Svaram http://www.svaram.org/: music instruments, research
  • The Colours Of Nature: pure/naturally dyed textile garments and fabrics
  • Upasana Design Studiogarment design and manufacture
  • Vardan: website design, book-binding in leather
  • WELLpaper: necklaces, baskets, earrings and other design objects made of recycled newspaper


  • Auriginal
  • Aurosarjan Boutique 
  • La Boutique D’Av, Auroville 
  • La Boutique D’ Av, Pondicherry 
  • Fantasie 
  • Kalki, Pondicherry
  • Kalki, Auroville
  • Mira Boutique, Auroville
  • Naturally Auroville 


Food Processing

  • Aurospirul; producer of Spirulina products
  • Auroannam: organic food ; effective micro-organisms
  • La Ferme Cheese: fresh and seasoned cheeses, yoghurt and ice cream
  • Le Gourmet: bread, buns, baguettes, biscuits, pastries and cakes
  • Auro Soya: soya products
  • Ganesh Bakery:  food handling; organic breads, cakes and biscuits
  • Naturallement: jams, jellies, marmalades, syrups, nut butters
  • Auroville Bakery: all kinds of bread and pastry


Sustainable Energy, Research

  • Aureka: wind pumps, earth construction equipment
  • AURORE (Projects and Services): solar PV systems
  • AEP (Auroville Energy Products): renewable energy products and services
  • CSR Centre for Scientific research


Electronic Systems, Computer & Peripherals, Media

  • Altecs Energy Systems : uninterruptible power supplies (ups), solar, photovoltaic inverters 
  • Auroville Electrical Service : Electrical Goods Dealers , Electrical Shop, Abri
  • Cynergy software 
  • Mira Computers: Computer Repair & Services, Aurelec
  • Penta Services 


  • Freeland Bookshopbooks and publications
  • Eco Femme: healthy, dignified, affordable and eco-positive menstrual practices
  • Linea : Consultancy in dental equipment and allied products