Sri Lankan entrepreneurs honoured at SheThePeople Digital Women Awards

The SheThePeople.TV Digital Women Awards are India’s top honour for emerging women entrepreneurs.

This time in its fifth year, they invited two women entrepreneurs – Tamasha Fernando and Indu Nannayakkara at a power packed summit in Gurgaon, the business suburb of Delhi.

The Digital Women Awards, presented by Google, recognise women on parameters like innovation, creativity, scaling up, filling the market gap and some more and put the spotlight on how the finest women entrepreneurs are breaking new grounds by leveraging the power of digital.

Elsamarie D’Silva, a fellow from Stanford and Yale, and the founder of Safecity is on the Jury. She says, “We picked women who have resilience and perseverance to make their idea a reality.”  The Jury for the awards is led by a panel of strong names such as India’s top travel blogger Shivya Nath, Travel Blogger, Elsa Marie D’Silva, Founder Safecity, Akila Urankar, President Business Standard, India’s top business paper, Deepali Naair of IBM India and Shaili Chopra, Founder of SheThePeople.TV.

For the first time, the initiative included entrepreneurs from outside of India. Indu Nanayakkara, Entrepreneur from Sri Lanka part of the event, said, “The double-duty a woman has to do before even running her business on a day to day basis is far greater than someone doing the 9-5 round; as entrepreneurship takes far more effort and dedication. We need to celebrate this.”

And this is the real spirit of the initiative. Not just value women and their businesses, but see how they are pushing boundaries. India’s top tech body, NASSCOM, the knowledge partner to the initiative, is going to fast track incubation for the winners and the IIT Delhi entrepreneurship arm will support them with mentorship.

Founder Shaili Chopra stated, “This is a proud moment for all women start-ups. Women are great examples of leadership, excellence and entrepreneurship, all of which SheThePeople.TV stands for. Our mission is to continue to build this platform for future leaders who will shape the Indian digital eco-system and the Digital Women Awards are just one of the steps in achieving that goal.”

The Future is Female. Women across the world are actively joining the workforce, asserting themselves on issues and networking to become a strong force.  “From leaders, game-changers, board members, executives and entrepreneurs, sportswomen and politicians and every woman engaging in her goals, we are changing the conversation about them. We believe we are an active positive part of that change,” Chopra said.

Some fantastic businesses came up from both urban and rural centres who have been true innovators and disruptors in their use of the digital in their start ups. From women who have set up banking services in underserviced geographies, to curated content on sex, to an eco warrior app for children, to breastfeeding support for lactating mothers, the shortlist has a spectrum of women entrepreneurs negotiating and leveraging the power of digital to create truly breakthrough offerings.

Past winner, Supriya Paul Founder of Josh Talks India, says, “When we started the Josh Talks the greatest challenge I faced was getting people to take me seriously, because I was this 19 year old going around, pitching this idea. This award is a validation of all we believed in.” D Roopa, IPS, past winner in the category of Digital Leadership says, “We need to get a lot more women to come online and adopt the digital space wholeheartedly. It is through initiatives like these that will help us spread the benefits of going digital not just to the urban women, but also women in semi urban and rural centres who can also benefit from going digital.”

SheThePeople.TV, India’s largest storytelling platform for women is the force behind Digital Women Awards.