3

Women leading
the way

Nineteen-year-old Nikki, from a village in the Indian state of Haryana, recently passed grade 12 and now has her own tailoring and beauty businesses. She established them after DISHA supported her participation in a start-up training, followed by guidance from the organisation Humana People to People India. Nikki currently works out of a room in her parents’ house, where she also lives, but plans to have her very own shop in the main market. Her register book already has tailoring orders from 40 customers.

The young entrepreneur is thankful to be able to “do something of my own. I can fulfill my dreams and support my family,” she says.

I can fulfill my dreams and support my family.

Nikki, entrepreneur

I can fulfill my dreams and support my family.

Nikki, entrepreneur
© UNDP

We know there is no quick fix for gender equality, but we have seen how investing in women’s earning potential helps improve entire communities. When women have their own incomes, they and their families enjoy better nutrition, healthcare and education. Globally, we have supported more than 20 partners that increase women’s access to dignified work, education, skills training and healthcare. Through DISHA, a programme implemented by our partner UNDP and the India Development Fund, we support ongoing collaboration between India’s private sector, government and other organisations. Together, all parties are working towards ensuring that women across India can learn marketable skills, get jobs and set up their own enterprises.

Since 2011, our investment in the Lila Poonawalla Foundation has helped thousands of underprivileged young women in India pursue higher education and become economically independent.

And through another of our partners, PRADAN, we have helped women in some of India’s poorest rural areas form collectives. In joining their voices, they have a greater say in family and village decisions, and can advocate for better community services.