Success stories of five female entrepreneurs making rural impact

Bhavna Agarwal
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Women today are readily taking risk only to emerge as successful entrepreneurs. Their success stories are an inspiration to many, their initiatives have made notable developments in rural development by bringing in employment, skill training facilities to small villages.


Here are five female entrepreneurs making rural impacts with their initiatives in India:

  •  Saloni Malhotra: Founder of first rural BPO in the country, Saloni gives employment to the inexperienced and untrained youth of rural India. Desi Crew provides back office and support services in rural areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Around 2/3rd of her employees are women at their data processing centres. Desi crew today has 5 clients with annuity contracts, 21 clients in all, and over 40 completed projects. It has contributed to a 40% cost saving for its existing clients. Saloni has also won the best young entrepreneur of the year award in 2007.


  •  Ela Bhatt: Ela had founded the Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) with late Arvind Buch, the then president of Textile Labor Association. It plays a major role in empowering employment among rural women in various states. The association, setup in 1972, assists the women by helping rural women workers get full employment making them self reliant. She has been awarded the Padmashri the Padmabhushan and Ramon Magsaysay Award for her exceptional contribution in the field of microfinance and labor.


  • Ajaita Shah: Ajaita founded a Jaipur based Frontier Market in 2012. Its provides BOP villagers in India, access, training and servicing for clean energy product. With the help of village-level community workers, Shah markets her solar products at a relatively low price in the brand name ‘Saral Jeevan’. FM  has sold over 20,000 clean energy products in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. They are present in 16 districts of each state and are targeting 50 million households in next in 5 years.


  • Chetna Gala Sinha: Chetna founded Maan Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank, a microfinance bank run by the women for the women in rural areas. It is because of her that women in rural drought prone areas are empowered through education and learning entrepreneurial skills. She provides conducive environment  to the women providing them access to land and other means of production.She has received various awards for entrepreneurship development in the country.


  •  Sheetal Mehta Walsh: Sheetal is the founder of Shanti Life, a microfinance platform where she provides loan at a low interest rate of 12 per cent to the poor in Gujarat villages and slums to help them create sustainable businesses. It additionally provides financial literacy training, mentoring, access to eco sanitation facilities to the beneficiaries.The funds received by the NGO are recycled into further loans. Using the digital space, she has now created an online market to sell good online.

Feature Image by Green Grants

Story contributed by Bhavna Agarwal

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