No limits as Times of India celebrates entrepreneurial women

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Recognising the trend - and the challenges - facing women who break away from corporate careers to start their own businesses, the Times of India has launched a platform to celebrate their success.

Bennett, Coleman & Co brand vice president Sumeli Chatterjee says the women "choosing to work differently" are independent, ambitious, and creative with unique boutique ideas... and increasingly contributing to the urban economy.

The national Times She UnLTD platform delivers an awards programme and supporting content.

Chatterjee says the aim is to create a buzzing community space for networking and collaboration among like-minded women. "The Times She UnLTD awards rewards the top one per cent of participants for their creativity and business acumen," she says. "Those featured include visionary trailblazers who have busted gender stereotypes and created profitable businesses."

The awards process is divided into three phases, starting with the call for entries with submissions through the official website -where women can share their entries through a secure portal or nominate women for recognition - followed by a short-listing round, in which finalists are reviewed with meetings in their respective cities.

"Each finalist has the opportunity to present their story, business idea, and entrepreneurship journey to the jury," says Chatterjee. "The winners are felicitated at an event in respective cities, and widely covered through print and digital media of the Times of India, with the entire process audited by process validators.

"The strength of a brand is the impact it can have on its consumers' prosperity and growth, and we believe we will grow in business and equity only when our consumers (our readers) grow with us as they reach for their dreams and fulfill their aspirations."

Growth in readership by women has been a focus area for Indian newspapers, and TOI sought to strengthen its connection through a meaningful programme that would help them grow.

Times She UnLTD explores the potential of talented, visionary, fierce trailblazers who have busted gender stereotypes and created profitable businesses that, in turn, employ many people.

Drivers and motivation for female entrepreneurs "may or may not be the same", Chatterjee says. "More importantly, women entrepreneurs are no longer an exception in society; there are many women in each of our social circles who are running big and small enterprises. But, these industries are fragmented, unique, and sometimes niche."

The first two chapters of the programme have recognised women entrepreneurs across food, fitness, beauty, travel, fashion, experiential, home, and living. "We met countless women who are creating diverse business opportunities with unique ideas right from their living rooms."

Container hotels, cat cafes, cloud kitchens, (film) shoot location exchanges, co-working studios, vegan ice cream shops, medical evacuation jet planes, wedding curation apps, and plant-fibre fashion are among the creative businesses in which women are engaging and excelling.

"Women founders have shared their stories on the Times She UnLTD platform of how they transformed an idea from blueprint to a self-sustaining business. Real stories of real women talk about life challenges. The stories are personal, relatable, and inspirational for our women readers who dream of financial independence or creative freedom," she says.

"As we look to strengthen our connection with our audience, we hope to empower, enable, and energise their success stories. Using our print and digital platforms to tell the real stories narrated by successful women entrepreneurs is a step in the right direction, as these inspirational figures can motivate millions to pursue their own dreams."

Based on an INMA Bottom-Line Marketing Blog with thanks

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