Women Entrepreneurs Driving Innovation in Business Models for Positive Social Impact

Women Entrepreneurs Driving Innovation in Business Models for Positive Social Impact
Women Entrepreneurs Driving Innovation in Business Models for Positive Social Impact

It is the perfect time to highlight the incredible progress women entrepreneurs are making in the business world, as we mark the celebrations of International Women's Day. Through innovation and original thinking, women are pouring meaning into their business models with unique approaches, contributing to a positive societal impact.

Women entrepreneurs don't just stick to the usual business stuff; they're going the extra mile to make a positive social impact. In tune with this, we have had the privilege of connecting with some amazing women entrepreneurs and gaining an understanding of how they integrate social impact into their business model, and what positive changes they observed as a result.

Now, let's explore what these remarkable women have to say and gain some valuable learning from them.

Yukta Raghu, CEO and C0-founder, AFFOREST Green Beauty
Devidutta Dash, Founder and CEO, Lemme Be
Dr. Malini Saba, Founder and Ex-Chairman, Saba Group; Founder and Chairman, Anannke Foundation
Sapna Shahani, Co-Founder, Neokul
Riena Shettyy, Founder and CEO of Divaaglam
Aditi Seshadri, Cofounder and Partner at Unlock Impact
Pallavi Shantam, Founder & Creative Director of Buna
Anjali Kalachand, Nutritionist and Co-Founder, A Petter Life

Yukta Raghu, CEO and C0-founder, AFFOREST Green Beauty

Yukta Raghu, CEO and C0-founder, AFFOREST Green Beauty
Yukta Raghu, CEO and C0-founder, AFFOREST Green Beauty

AFFOREST has built its business model around ESG Values. We are mindful of our earth’s resources; Our Core Value is being able to support the depleting forest coverage in the country through Afforestation which in turn protects our wildlife by keeping their natural habitat from vanishing.

Our core focus is Ethical Sourcing, Environmental sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, Transparency & Accountability. These practices have impacted and resulted in Increased Brand Loyalty, Enhanced Reputation, Long-term Sustainability, and Competitive advantage. These are some of the key reasons AFFOREST Is 100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free, 94% Clean Beauty & Crafted with care for our forests.

Devidutta Dash, Founder and CEO, Lemme Be

Devidutta Dash, Founder and CEO, Lemme Be
Devidutta Dash, Founder and CEO, Lemme Be

We at Lemme Be are dedicated to providing organic, sustainable, and body-safe period products and intimate massagers for all menstruators while believing in the importance of sexual health for individuals, couples, and communities. Our business model integrates social impact by offering diverse products such as menstrual cups, tampons, and heat patches, all FDA-approved, certified organic, and cruelty-free. We educate customers on sex and sexuality support causes promoting reproductive health. We support various causes and initiatives by collaborating with Corporates and NGOs that provide menstrual hygiene products and services to underprivileged communities.

Throughout this period, we have witnessed positive changes that include increased customer satisfaction, reduced stigma around sexual health, improved well-being, and enhanced opportunities for menstruators, particularly those facing socio-economic challenges. The reviews and testimonials from the customers who appreciate the quality, affordability, and convenience of our products, as well as the values and vision of the brand, are the witnesses of the change we are trying to make.


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Dr. Malini Saba, Founder and Ex-Chairman, Saba Group; Founder and Chairman, Anannke Foundation

Dr. Malini Saba, Founder and Ex-Chairman, Saba Group; Founder and Chairman, Anannke Foundation
Dr. Malini Saba, Founder and Ex-Chairman, Saba Group; Founder and Chairman, Anannke Foundation

As an entrepreneur who charted a course of business with a heart, I firmly believe that the true essence of success in entrepreneurship extends far beyond financial gains. It's about the impact we create, the doors we open, and the empowerment we ignite. For me, being a woman in business means wielding our ventures as instruments of change, weaving together commerce and compassion to shape a more equitable world.

The transformations we witness aren't just numbers on a report; they are the stories of resilient women breaking barriers, of communities flourishing from our enterprises, and of generations inspired by our journey. This isn't just about business; it's about building legacies of empowerment, marking our presence in boardrooms and hearts alike. On this International Women Entrepreneurs Day, let us celebrate not just our achievements, but the ripple effects of our courage, determination, and unwavering commitment to a future where every woman's potential knows no bounds.

Sapna Shahani, Co-Founder, Neokul

Sapna Shahani, Co-Founder, Neokul
Sapna Shahani, Co-Founder, Neokul

We are launching an innovative pilot training programme for Computer Science college students in Goa to learn tech and entrepreneurship skills, increasing their chances for employment after graduation.

This will address the staggering unemployment rate of 80% of engineering graduates across India. We also want to encourage more young women in tech as it’s a great way to become financially independent.

International models such as ours have churned out brilliant minds, making the world a better place. We are passionate about giving the same opportunities to young Indians in smaller towns and cities.

Riena Shettyy, Founder and CEO of Divaaglam

Riena Shettyy, Founder and CEO of Divaaglam
Riena Shettyy, Founder and CEO of Divaaglam

We at Divaaglam believe it is not just the responsibility of corporates to contribute to society but it is the very reason for its existence.

The beauty industry, which we belong to empowers women and also gives us the chance to support women immensely. Every employment policy we have in place keeps in mind the diversity, gender ratio, flexibility in work hours and location, in-house counselling, respect for individuals, education support, and more which helps empower our team members. Our policies are crafted carefully to see how we can be an ongoing growth enabler for women who come from different walks of life.

We have a high retention rate in the organization, and we pride ourselves on our exceptional work environment. Our resources are the very reason for our fast growth to date. We are aware of the immense potential in women and plan to offer training, education, and employment opportunities to as many of them as possible in the times to come.

Aditi Seshadri, Cofounder and Partner at Unlock Impact

Aditi Seshadri, Cofounder and Partner at Unlock Impact
Aditi Seshadri, Cofounder and Partner at Unlock Impact

Unlock Impact’s work is built on three pillars of gender equity, climate action and social entrepreneurship. We look at social impact at multiple ways: 

  • The 500+ startups we support through our entrepreneurship programs (implemented by Nüshu Network and Villgro Philippines) all strive to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The clients we work with through Comms Ninja, of which 70% have diverse teams, and 21% work in climate action.
  • Through our own values and policies by creating a gender-smart organisation and women-led team. Since 2018, over 30 women have worked with us out of which 30% have come from small towns in India. Over 2.5 years, these women have seen a 40% growth in their service fees.

Pallavi Shantam, Founder & Creative Director of Buna

Pallavi Shantam, Founder & Creative Director of Buna

Social impact is central to Buna's business model. We prioritise ethical sourcing, fair trade practices, and environmental sustainability. By partnering with local artisans and communities, we create meaningful employment opportunities and support traditional craftsmanship. These efforts not only contribute to positive social change but also enhance brand ethos and resonate with conscious consumers.

Anjali Kalachand, Nutritionist and Co-Founder, A Petter Life

Anjali Kalachand, Nutritionist and Co-Founder, A Petter Life
Anjali Kalachand, Nutritionist and Co-Founder, A Petter Life

Being a Certified Pet Nutritionist, I have had the opportunity to impart my knowledge on species-appropriate diets and holistic living for dogs and cats to pet parents. This knowledge empowers them to make better choices for their pets. We all know that pet parents don’t only look after their house pets, but also their free-roaming ones thus benefiting dogs and cats at large.


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