Do you often find yourself torn between aspiring for a high paying career and one that adds value to society? If your answer is yes, it’s time to take inspiration from women who have experienced the best of both worlds!
Here’s a list of 5 amazing women who left the glamour, security, and comfort of their high-paying and super successful jobs to start their own social enterprise.
1. Ila Kapoor Chaddah
Founder, Ziba By Hand
Having worked at companies like KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC, Ila Kapoor Chaddah is a Delhi University alumnus who always had her mind set in the field of arts and crafts. She was a decade into her stellar career as a management consultant at IBM when she quit her job to start Ziba By Hand.
After taking cognisance of the environmentally exploitative nature of fast fashion, she ventured to start out her own digital platform that curates work of homegrown designers and craftspersons who infuse traditional Indian techniques with modernity.
Ziba By Hand promotes everything that is handmade and aims to amplify the cause of sustainability in everyday lifestyle choices.
Her online platform has overcome several challenges pertaining to market accessibility and taxation laws in the country to empower hundreds of women who populate the handicrafts sector in India.
This is also a sector that is over-represented by women and Ila has been successfully empowering a number of them through her endeavour!
2. Priya Naik
Founder, Samhita Social Ventures
After completing her education from University of Michigan and Yale University, Priya worked in places like International Finance Corporation, The MIT Poverty Action Lab and The Spark Group.
Priya started Samhita Social Ventures in 2009 and has been heading it since then.
Samhita Social focuses on solving “wicked problems through the power of collaboration, innovation and evidence, to achieve a sustainable and equitable future for all”.
Its primary work focuses on guiding corporates to move from compliance driven Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to a more impactful and catalytic one by incorporating scale, sustainability and strategy.
The startup attempts to bridge the gap between purpose and action through strategies that balance people, profit and planet.
3. Sheetal Mehta Walsh
Founder, Shanti Life
Credit poverty is a crisis that has plagued the Indian society for years now.
Shanti Life, founded by Sheetal Mehta Walsh aims to address this problem by helping the poor take microfinance loans at low interest rates and educating them about financial planning to deal with the same.
Shanti Life has also been working tirelessly to deal with the food insecurity crisis and other economic crises faced by the community as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Their work is strongly based on principles of grassroot-level strengthening.
Sheetal Mehta Walsh is an alumnus of London School of Economics and University of Alberta where she studied Economics.
She worked as the Director of VC at Microsoft prior to embarking on a journey of giving back to the community by starting Shanti Life.
4. Khushboo Jain
Co-Founder and COO, ImpactGuru.com
Khushboo Jain studied Business Management from Sydenham College, Mumbai, and Marketing from Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research. She went on to work as a fashion marketer for Valiram in Singapore, handling brands like La Martina and Jimmy Choo.
She was inches away from reaching the zenith of the corporate ladder when she co-founded ImpactGuru, a digital platform that provides crowdfunding solutions for critically ill patients in need of medical care. It works in collaboration with NGOs and social sector enterprises.
The platform today has raised more than INR 150 crore for organisations that work at the grassroot level.
Khushboo herself has featured in the Fortune 40 under 40 lists in India and was amongst the Top 15 women entrepreneurs at 2019 Women Transforming India Awards – NITI Aayog & United Nations.
5. Aditi Gupta
Menstrupedia, founded by Aditi Gupta, aims to break the stigma surrounding menstruation that exists to date in various parts of the country. Menstrupedia enables the permeation of information around menstruation in an interesting manner through informative content in the form of comics and video journals.
Aditi’s brainchild, that she founded with her husband, Tuhin Gupta, has impacted the lives of 13 million girls worldwide. It has educated 50,000 girls about periods, trained 10,000 educators with over 10,000 schools in India using these comic books as a part of their curriculum.
Aditi is an Electronics and Instrumentation Engineer and a postgraduate in New Media Design from National Institute of Design. She has worked as a research associate at Ford Foundation.
With entrepreneurship becoming THE aspirational career of the decade, a good chunk of Indians have left their successful careers to build something from scratch. Some of the most used apps on our phones today are companies founded by Indian entrepreneurs. We’ve heard their inspirational tales time and again and well, that seems fair.
At the same time, it is important to understand the need for innovative social interventions to solve the various social and economic problems which have been plaguing our society for generations. As people of privilege in a country grappling with food, financial, housing and health insecurities, it is important to give recognition to the purpose of social entrepreneurs.
Today, a host of Indian women have created their own ventures which aim to solve some of these issues. Quite a few of them have done so after quitting financially rewarding careers and it is fascinating to chart their journeys as we saw!
In this context, we hope the works of these gritty women inspire you to pursue your passion and figure out innovative ways to do so for a greater good!
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