Biz Divas: Turning Passion Into Profit
BUSINESS WOMEN’S NETWORK SPOTLIGHT: BIZ DIVAS, INDIA
Neela Kaushik was a homemaker with a burning desire: to start her own digital media agency. She got the support and encouragement she needed through Biz Divas’ mentoring sessions, where she learned how to create and execute her own plans, and manage her schedule. That’s when Sixth Element was born – Neela’s agency that creates websites and social media campaigns for local businesses in Gurgaon, India.
Neela is just one of the more than 550 members of the fast-growing Indian business women’s network Biz Divas. In Mumbai, Delhi, and Gurgaon, their aim is simple: to help women turn their passion into profits.
“We feel all women should have financial independence as this leads to better self esteem,” said Sarika Bhattacharyya, the young, vivacious co-founder of Biz Divas. “We want to help increase the participation of women in the Indian economy at all levels. We would like to see a corporate environment conducive to the growth of professional women with more flexible work options. We want to see more women in the Boardroom.”
Sarika’s tireless commitment to mentoring and helping professional women flourish comes on top of her work running her own enterprise, Altavis Pvt Ltd, a HR Consulting firm.
The commitment to empower women to be financially literate, independent, and obtain business, personal, and professional skills is the organization’s heartbeat. To support the audacious women who are stepping out on their own, Biz Divas provides professional mentoring and support through:
- Skills-based training programs
- Monthly “Meet-Ups”: a unique combination of business education and networking
- Master Mind Cafe: a mentoring program where a group of selected divas in various stages of entrepreneurship supported by chartered members to take them to the next level.
- A library of helpful resources
“Usually, a woman has an [business] idea in her mind but it is not well thought out,” Sarika said. “They do not know who to contact, where to start, how to execute, revenue model, logistics, cost involved, marketing, target audience. This is why I started Biz Divas. I want to make entrepreneurship and career mentoring accessible to any woman with a project, dream or aspiration to be successful in their professional lives.”
By mentoring women entrepreneurs over the past 6 months, Biz Divas has found a definitive link between the success of a woman entrepreneur and a supportive ecosystem which can be enabled through mentoring. This founding principal, and the knowledge that both a professional mentor and mentee greatly benefit, is why Biz Divas asks its senior women leaders to devote two hours a month to mentoring. The goal is to build a strong network where they see these leading women use their expertise, knowledge, skills and connections to support emerging women entrepreneurs – such as Neela – for at least six months.
Another woman who is seeing her dream come to fruition with the help of Biz Divas is Smita Raghani, a graduate of the prestigious JJ School of Arts in India. Smita moved from Mumbai to Delhi, and was struggling with setting up her business and gaining new clients as a graphic designer. When she participated in Biz Divas’ networking forum, she was able to connect with other women entrepreneurs. Today, her business is flourishing. She even designed the Biz Divas logo to express her gratitude.
“The new economy is best suited for women who are ready to claim their success,” Sarika said. “There’s never been a better time to take control of your income, leverage low-cost technology, and create the freedom and life you’ve always wanted.”
Follow Biz Divas on Twitter.
SEEKING MENTORS GLOBALLY: Biz Divas is growing their network of mentors locally and abroad. If you’re interested in being a mentor to an entrepreneur in India, please contact them here. Mentoring sessions can take place over Skype or other channels. As a mentor, you will be asked to give one hour each month for 12 months.
Here at The Way Women Work, we collaborate with, amplify and support Business and Professional Women’s networks all over the world. We will spotlight these organizations on a regular basis and share their great work in advancing the careers and businesses of women in their countries. Learn more about these organizations here.