Ahead of Women’s Day this year, international development agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) has announced the launch of a podcast series in collaboration with Vaaka Media; the 3-episode podcast titled “Founders: A Her&Now Podcast” reveals the real-life tales of five women entrepreneurs running diverse business ventures in three different parts of our country, i.e. Telangana, Rajasthan, and the North-East.
This one-of-its-kind podcast series will narrate the entrepreneurship journeys, celebrate successes and failures as well as discuss at length a plethora of socio-economic challenges and obstacles faced by women micro-entrepreneurs today who have been running small and growing businesses in various sectors like robotics, waste management, wellness, hospitality, etc. Notably, all the founders are a part of the ‘Her&Now’ project’s entrepreneurship support programme. The project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women ((Her&Now)’ is implemented in various parts of India by GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Government of India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; it is an ongoing bilateral project dedicated to empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs (both existing and aspiring ones) across tier 2 and tier 3 locations of India.
The Founders (and their companies) being highlighted through the podcast are Grace Rephung YL (EYAR Film Production House), Alemjungla Jamir (Naga Bowl Express), Kavitha Gopu (Laddo Box – manufacturer of sugar-free laddos), Geetha Padma, (Envirobotics–manufacturer of robotic devices to clean water), Odapalli Vijaya Laxmi, Keerthi Priya (solar dehydration of vegetables), Tanushree Jain (Nushaura — special wellness products like candles, etc. for asthma patients). These entrepreneurs will be joined in the podcast by two renowned gender experts — Dr. Seema Jayachandran, Professor of Economics at Northwestern University and Soumya Kapoor Mehta, Head of IWWAGE (Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy) and Lavanya Mohan, co-founder of WorkWife, an online community for working women in India who writes extensively about women and finance.
Speaking about the podcast launch, Ullas Marar, Head of Project Her&Now says, “At present, there are thousands of small and growing women-led businesses in India that provide livelihoods and drive communities. However, unfortunately enough, these founders are rarely seen and/or heard of as embodying the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation. Our new podcast ‘Founders – A Her&Now Podcast’ is a unique endeavor in changing the narrative around women’s entrepreneurship in India, and it brings to fore hitherto untold stories of entrepreneurship-related struggles and experiences of women in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India.”
“We’ve covered many aspects of female workforce participation in the past for our podcast In the Field. It was a pleasure working with Project Her&Now and interacting with the various founders from diverse backgrounds, and their families. Being entrepreneurs ourselves, it has been so inspiring to talk with the women about their stories, the unique challenges they face, and their passion for their businesses.’, adds Samyuktha Varma / Radhika Viswanathan.
The three episodes of the podcast will be released one-by-one in the week following International Women’s Day, 8th of March, 2021, and thereafter streamed via popular podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple iTunes, etc. The trailer of ‘Founders – A Her&Now Podcast’ releases on the morning of 8th of March, International Women’s Day and can be accessed from www.herandnow.in