#Digital Women Hub

How Solopreneur Ketki Agarwal Is Helping Parents Of Children With Learning Disabilities

Ketki Agarwal
Solopreneur Ketki Agarwal, with her venture LDExplained, is helping parents of children with learning disabilities. She equips them with all the information needed to raise and nurture them. Not only knowledge, but it connects the user with other parents, professionals, and people who can all help support the therapies required for children and the parents in their efforts.

Agarwal is a mother to two teenagers with learning disabilities and ADHD, also known as invisible disabilities. Invisible Disability, also known as a hidden disability, captures a whole spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges, primarily neurological, which are not visible to the outsider. She says it has been a struggle to understand their conditions and give them what they require to thrive. “It wasn’t easy to even get a formal diagnosis, requiring effort to just reach the right institutions. And the biggest challenge was in educating family, friends, school teachers and everyone who comes in contact with them about their condition, how to understand them and how to support them”, she said. This motivated her to start LDExplained two years ago.

LDExplained took shape during the pandemic when she experienced first-hand the impact of social isolation and a sudden change in everything around everyone and her children. “Lockdowns, online school, social isolation, etc., everything piled on to my kids’ delicately created social structures. It was a great effort to maintain a semblance of normalcy during those times. My personal experiences and the realisation that there are tens of thousands of parents like me in India struggling with the same challenges made me want to share my learning and experience with them”, she explained.

Every entrepreneur has challenges. There’s a reason why entrepreneurship is called an arduous and lonely journey. “As a woman entrepreneur, the biggest challenge I have faced is getting a mentor to guide me through this journey. I feel that women entrepreneurs are not taken seriously, and mentors shy away from mentoring them”, she says.

Her dogged determination didn’t let her give up. “If you believe in your idea, if you have validated it rationally and realistically against the needs of your customer, then you have to keep going and succeed. The journey will always have its ups and downs. Success never comes easy, and your self-belief is crucial as it keeps you going. Hard work is another thing that you must not shy away from, I have got where I am today by working hard. You have to also have discipline, without which all the hard work can be undone”, she believes.

When asked about the challenges entrepreneurs face, she says, “An entrepreneur’s life is challenging, and the life of a mother with children with invisible disabilities is even more challenging. Being both is doubly challenging but worth the satisfaction working for a social cause brings. I help parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD, and the most gratifying part of the journey is to hear from parents how I can help them, that is simply success to me.”

As a woman entrepreneur, the biggest challenge I have faced is getting a mentor to guide me through this journey. I feel that women entrepreneurs are not taken seriously, and mentors shy away from mentoring them -Ketki Agarwal

What keeps her going? Recognition, she says, is a great motivator. She was accepted into the pre-incubation stage at IIM, Bangalore NSRCEL and Microsoft Founders Start-up Hub.

Besides that, launching her website is the most important milestone in her journey. There is a lack of awareness, and with that, there are many myths and stereotypes in our society related to learning disabilities and ADHD. The LDExplained website is an all-encompassing support resource for parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD.

Where does she plan to take her venture in the coming years? She wishes to launch commercial services of parental advisory and assessment services in the short term. She plans to use Google search console and Analytics more efficiently to know which learning disabilities children struggle most with. In the long term, she wants LDExplained to offer all products and services that parents of children with invisible disabilities require over their lifetime.

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs is not to sell themselves short or underestimate themselves because one is capable of so much more than they realise.

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