Women Entrepreneur Network (WEN) - A Marketplace for Businesses to Avail Services Offered by Women Entrepreneurs
WEN’s vision is to be a marketplace where clients (Businesses) can come and avail services offered by Women Entrepreneurs from across the globe.
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In 2014 Kanika, who was working as a Business Head with GI and Italian Multi-National, faced a unique situation. Her son was getting into higher grades and she felt she needed to slow her pace at work and devote more attention at home. So, she did what she thought was unthinkable for her till a few years ago. She quit her job and thought she’s started trying to build a company from home. Initially the going was great, however as time went she faced hurdles on multiple counts. The first being getting a regular flow of work, the second the challenge around filing of multiple Tax returns, the third of not having a team to back her when there was a sudden spike in demand, the fourth about not having a brand behind them and the last around access to latest tools and technology.
Determined to succeed she laboured on and had a few successes however consistent progress eluded her. About two years into her new venture one of her ex-colleagues who had gotten married and shifted to Indore met her along with another one who was the mother of twin girls met and shared a similar predicament. They spoke about how getting together they could make a larger network which supports women like them to get stability and growth. They named the network “Women Entrepreneur Network” and thus WEN was born in 2017. WEN’s vision is to be a marketplace where clients (Businesses) can come and avail services offered by Women Entrepreneurs from across the globe. They have initially started with focusing on recruitment services and now plan on getting into other services the HR avails like trainers, coaches, their long-term plan entails getting into Accounting, Design, Legal, Content, Marketing services amongst others. The advantage that the clients get is that by signing one contract they get access to 100’s of suppliers whose past antecedents can be seen by them. It also helps them save costs as most women on the platform work from home and are in smaller towns, so their overheads are low.
Geetika Garg a Commerce graduate from SRCC Delhi who started her career in 2005 with Citibank was amongst the initial “Women Entrepreneurs” who joined WEN after she wanted to get back to working once her baby turned 3. “WEN got me going. Not only do I work from home, a prerequisite for me, but also, I have got Marquee clients like Volvo and Cars24 to work on. In less than 6 months I have a team of 7 similar “work from home” entrepreneurs who are working with me on my clients. WEN makes me feel part of a big company and a bigger cause. The Network gets me work, enables me with Technology and Training Tools, helps me monitor my teams using technology and takes care of payments and statutory filings. It helps me focus on what I know best i.e. recruiting,” said Kanika.
Jaspreet Kaur who Co-Founded WEN with Kanika and works as a Recruiter on Boarding Manager adds that a lot of exceptionally talented and well-educated women who get married into smaller towns or realise a few years after marriage that suddenly one day their husband has got a posting to a place where it is difficult for them to get a job are people who have shown lot of interest in the network. Almost half the people who are a part of the WEN network come from smaller towns.
45-50% of India’s workforce is women. They are talented, they want to do well, and they want to be able to support themselves and their families. "Our Vision is to “Create Opportunities” for women so that they are never at a disadvantage. While we have initially started with recruiting our plan is to expand to other such entrepreneurial opportunities. We have identified over 40 categories amongst them Events, Designing, Content and Blogging/ Vlogging/ Editing, E-mail marketing, Travel consulting, Data entry, Coaching / Training /Teaching, Legal advice, Cooking / Cake Baking, Tele Surveys, Website making, Accounting, Interior Design/ Styling and Financial Planning are a few where people have shown keen interest," adds Kanika.
WEN has been getting a great response not only from companies who have a gender diversity agenda and are extending the same to their supply chain but also from companies who are looking for a trustworthy and reliable supplier.
Kanika ends by adding “We all talk about growth. Imagine the productivity gains the country can get if we use this half of our human dividend well.”
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