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Digital Women Awards 2022: How The Internet Is Enabling Women-Led Small Businesses

Women-Led Small Businesses
Digital Women Awards, India’s biggest initiative for women entrepreneurs, is back to celebrate the accomplishments of women in its 8th edition. This year, the awards theme is Storm The Norm, which focuses on talent, innovation, and creation by women who are utilising the internet to build their businesses.

The Digital Women Awards were established in 2015 to celebrate and recognise women entrepreneurs who harnessed the internet to build an empire.

On Sunday, November 13, Day 2 of the Digital Women Awards 2022 commenced. In partnership with Powai Women Networking, the panel discussed how the internet enabled women-led small businesses.

Powai Women Networking’s founder Kanupriya Agarwal served as the moderator for the panel. Panel speakers Jayshree Gupta of Cazaro Lingerie, Shabia Walia of Femnora, and Rakshita Dwivedi of Recipe Dabba gave their insights into how the progression of the internet had helped propel small women-led businesses.

After the COVID-19 pandemic struck, using the internet became essential for small businesses to promote themselves.

How The Internet Is Enabling Women-Led Small Businesses

The Business Of Marketing

Shabia Walia, the founder of Femnora spoke about her involvement in the marketing venture. Walia rightly described herself as the “one-man army behind Wild Earth, now known as Femnora”.

Walia mentioned that over the years, she had tried to broaden her horizons and learn a variety of things as she believes it helps employ the right people for the job. “I realised that I should know what I am hiring for. So I learnt Facebook marketing, I learnt running ads, I learnt how to write copies… That empowered me to pass it on to others and tell them I want this.”

Both Walia and Rakshita Dwivedi, the founder of Recipe Dabba spoke about the importance of understanding the audience and curating the content for the consumers.

Jayshree Gupta from Cazaro Lingerie revealed that she began her journey in marketing when social media was not readily available to the masses. She added that at that time, “no one even used to talk about it [lingerie]”.

She revealed that while she was still new to social media, she was introduced and connected to many women entrepreneurs, including Shabia Walia. “That’s how I started connecting with all these online women entrepreneur groups… I built a community within myself,” said Gupta.

Impact Of COVID-19 On Business

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced people and businesses to adapt to the new reality of online retail and work from home.

Gupta took the opportunity to “shake a little bit, come out of my comfort zone” and began taking online appointments. While people were shy about online lingerie consultations, Gupta changed their minds through her social media.

Learning New Things

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Walia began teaching others about entrepreneurship, business, and marketing. “I started upgrading myself, learning a lot of things, and parallelly I always believe that teaching is the best form of learning. So I started doing courses and so many women joined. It was a very very joyful time for me,” said Walia.

Dwivedi spoke about her personal experience with social media collaborations, “Personally, collaborations always help. I have collaborated with a lot of people. Especially when you’re talking about social media presence, word of mouth, people knowing about your brand, I have always believed in collaborating.”

The Importance Of Digital Marketing

Dwivedi encouraged entrepreneurs to take a dive into social media and utilise it to reach a wider audience. She said, “Unless and until you do it, you would not know what will work for you or not. We can always give excuses, but social media has been here for a while and it’s going to be there.”

She added, “Don’t wait for it. If you’re standing on that threshold, this is the moment. Just go ahead and do it.”

Meanwhile, Walia emphasised that people shouldn’t rely on other people’s definitions of success. She said, “Success is very very personal, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a good businesswoman and if you’re doing 50 orders.”

Walia added that using social media allows people to reach the world at the click of a button. She asked, “It enables you to reach millions of customers around the world, and why wouldn’t you want that?”

Gupta spoke about how she had gone from relying on traditional methods of marketing to embracing social media marketing. “My journey was from a traditional method to a digital platform and I felt that it is an amazing thing that has happened to every entrepreneur or any consumer,” said Gupta.

She signed off by telling people not to worry about failing, as “Failure is still better than regret”.


Suggested Reading: SheThePeople Announces The Shortlist For The Digital Women Awards 2022