WhatsApp is the leveller that empowers women entrepreneurs: Chetna Sinha

Chetna Sinha, Founder of Mann Deshi Bank and Foundation, threw light on how women in rural India conducted business using WhatsApp during the pandemic.
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Social activist Chetna Sinha on Wednesday said that the simplicity and ease of using WhatsApp is helping women entrepreneurs run and pivot their businesses during the pandemic.

“WhatsApp has been the leveller for providing equal opportunity to all and empowering women entrepreneurs and their families,” she said, speaking at the Fuel for India virtual event.

Chetna added that the increased use of WhatsApp by entrepreneurs in rural India is a story of Bharat remodelling India through the app.

She said it has also enabled para vets to develop a virtual market for goat rearers and practice telemedicine.

A staunch promoter of women entrepreneur, especially in rural India, Chetna is the founder of Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation. Women entrepreneurs who benefit from various initiatives of Mann Deshi have learnt ways to use WhatsApp to drive their business.

“As I make bags and train others, my business has seen great response and grown a lot on the app. I started by learning how to upload status, share information and keep customers in the loop,” Vidya Kirve, a microentrepreneur from Bhuinj village in Maharashtra.

Savita is another entrepreneur who pivoted her business from stitching uniforms for school children to selling masks due to COVID-19.

The entrepreneur receives thousands of orders per day and started a virtual training course on mask making for other women as well. This has developed into a network of 15 master trainers and over 25 women who work on making masks to produce over 5,000 masks daily.

Last week, the Facebook-owned company had announced a new feature of adding ‘carts’ to make business transactions easier.

"WhatsApp is fast becoming a store counter to discuss products and coordinate sales. Catalogues have allowed people to quickly see what's available and helped businesses organise their chats around particular items. With more and more shopping happening through chats, we want to make buying and selling even easier," the company earlier said in a blog post.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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