With unwavering passion and rock-solid courage, three women entrepreneurs - Suchita, Elizabeth and Nidhi- are charting a course towards greater women’s empowerment in India. These remarkable women embody the spirit of resilience and determination, and to fuel their aspirations, Visa has supported each of them with a $10,000 grant as part of Visa’s global initiative, She’s Next, which has brought its transformational power to the vibrant entrepreneurial landscape of India.
By harnessing the power of tools such as networking, mentoring, and funding opportunities, Visa is actively engaged in elevating women-led businesses across sectors. Through the grant, Visa aims to recognise the years of effort by these women entrepreneurs and to amplify the impact their businesses are making. At a felicitation ceremony by Visa , the winners spoke of how the grant is not only a confidence booster but also an enabler in overcoming the challenges of working in a male-dominated industry landscape.
Suchita Bhandari, Urvara Krsi, Gurugram, Haryana
Being an entrepreneur in agriculture, especially as a woman, has not been easy for Suchita. Being taken seriously in a male-dominated field, securing funding, proving her expertise - every step was a hurdle. But she fought her way through - driven by a dream. Her organisation, Urvara Krsi, which works to create inclusive, sustainable, and profitable partnerships with an overall benefit to the farming community and environment, thrives in the field of sustainable agriculture, a testament to her tenacity and is a beacon for other women entrepreneurs facing similar challenges.
“Receiving this money is a huge plus and a welcome boost to our organization, but more than that it's the acknowledgment of our vision of sustainable agriculture and equal opportunity that instills confidence. We are building an inclusive enterprise that prioritizes and uplifts the historically underprivileged sections while we work towards achieving our Sustainable Development Goals..” - Suchita Bhandari, Urvara Krsi
Nidhi Chawla, Silver Talkies (Active Age India Pvt. Ltd.), Bangalore
Nidhi is dedicated to empowering a community of vibrant older adults who aspire to age independently and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Through her organisation, Silver Talkies, Nidhi works with people aged 55 years and above, engaging them in an active lifestyle as a form of preventive healthcare. Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Silver Talkies operated as an offline community centered around Bengaluru. In response to the pandemic, Silver Talkies transitioned to a hybrid model and today, it’s thriving as a community committed to enhancing and sustaining the lifestyle of older adults.
“Beyond the brand recognition and credibility that Visa brings to the table, the grant is an affirmation of Silver Talkies’ mission. Winning this grant felt like showcasing to the world that unwavering dedication can yield tangible results, reinforcing the belief that there are people who share and believe in the vision we’ve set for Silver Talkies. The grant money is poised to bring about significant positive changes in the lives of many.”- Nidhi Chawla, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Silver Talkies
Elizabeth Thomas, Phonologix Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Kerala
Elizabeth works in the domain of speech language pathology, where Phonologix Health Solutions plays a pivotal role in making speech therapy accessible to children with communication disorders or developmental delays. The organisation offers a gamified online platform with customised activities for children, aiding them in overcoming communication challenges due to disorders like autism, ADHD, hearing impairment, down syndrome, stammering, and developmental delays. Elizabeth underscores the importance of early intervention, drawing from her experience as a practitioner, as it significantly contributes to ensuring a positive impact on the lives of these children.
“Women entrepreneurs often face the challenge of having to prove their worth and credibility twice as hard as their male counterparts. However, with persistence, progress is possible. Our vision is to create a world where no child is left behind, whether due to stigma, accessibility issues, or financial constraints. Our platform is an enabler in building an inclusive society and with the help of the She’s Next program, I am positive that this will happen.” - Elizabeth Thomas, Founder, Phonologix Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
As a purpose-driven enterprise, a business that aims to lead with purpose, Visa remains steadfast in its dedication to fostering commitment towards growing communities that leave a lasting and positive impact on the overall economy. Since 2020, Visa has invested over US$3.83 million in over 380+ grants and coaching sessions through the She’s Next Grant Program, aimed at supporting women small and medium business owners. through the She’s Next Grants Program since 2020. By equipping women micro-entrepreneurs with skills and facilitating access to relevant financial resources, Visa aims to benefit not only both individual enterprises but also the and the communities they serve.