LEAD Celebrating the Power and Potential of Women Entrepreneurs, on the occasion of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day


Chennai, November 20, 2019: LEAD at Krea University organised a workshop on the power and potential of women entrepreneurs at the Krea Admin Office. The workshop titled “Women in Business: Breaking Barriers and Amplifying Impact” was organised in honour of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2019. The workshop aimed to facilitate a conversation about the gaps in the current entrepreneurial ecosystem in India, as well as celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship.  

Talking about the importance of perseverance and sharing her personal journey keynote speaker Ms G Sree Vidhya, CMD Brio Services noted that “I started my journey as an entrepreneur with humble beginnings in an industry that is predominantly a male stronghold. Today, we employ over 4,000 people, and are also enabling the children of our employees to get an education and pursue their dreams.” This country needs a lot more female entrepreneurs, and not just employees, she further added. 

Speaking about the importance of entrepreneurship, Dr Sunder Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor of Krea University highlighted the “declining female labour force participation rates in India and the importance of entrepreneurship in providing women flexibility and more control of their future”.

A compendium titled “Women in Business: The many shades of grit and perseverance”, featuring the stories of successful female entrepreneurs from across the country was released at the event. The women entrepreneurs featured in the compendium come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds but share a common thread to their journeys – the role of grit, passion and resilience in shaping their choices and trajectories. 

“To better highlight the importance of grit as an ingredient in the success story of women entrepreneurs, we have canvassed the nation to find a set of select narratives that showcase the

power of grit, resilience and passion in enabling women to achieve their goals, despite challenging circumstances.” noted Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, LEAD

The event also featured lightning talks from entrepreneurs. Seasoned entrepreneur, Ms Sarada Ramani, co-founder & President, Computers International spoke about her journey as an entrepreneur in the IT industry. Young turk, Kirthana Ravikumar, founder of the fashion label ‘Arodhi’, spoke about her journey as a young entrepreneur in the innovative and sustainable fashion space. 

A panel discussion was held following the lightning rounds featuring Mr Sriraman Jagannathan, Country Director, India, Women’s World Banking, Ms Sucharita Mukherjee, Founder-CEO of KaleidoFin, and Ms Anjali Jain, Founder-Director, CENTA. The panel discussion was facilitated by Ms Meenakshi Ramesh, promoter of the Menterra Social Impact Fund, and co-founder of the Chennai chapter of Citizen Matters. The panel discussion explored the factors that contribute to promote an enabling and inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem, and emerging approaches to encourage women towards entrepreneurial activities. It also delved into the scope for further research that can provide an impetus to the entrepreneurship development agenda in the country.  

About Lead: LEAD, an action-oriented research centre of IFMR Society (a not-for-profit society registered under the Societies Act), leverages the power of research, innovation and co-creation to solve complex and pressing challenges in development. LEAD has strategic oversight and brand support from Krea University (sponsored by IFMR Society) to enable synergies between academia and the research centre.


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