Innovation That Matters

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Indian startup helps women rise in business

Work & Lifestyle

A new Indian customer-to-customer platform aims to help local women build home-based retail businesses.

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We have seen ideas designed to make it easier for women to start up their own businesses, such as a crowdfunding platform that donates to female entrepreneurs in developing countries, and a global women’s network. Now, an Indian company hopes to make it easier for thousands of women to build their own local retail business.

The goal of Bangalore-based startup GlowRoad is to give Indian housewives and stay-at-home mothers a low-risk way to start their own retail businesses from home. Founder Sonal Verma, a former physician, acquired reseller portal LocalQueen in June, and has recently secured USD 2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners to develop the company. GlowRoad plans to use the funds for acquiring more resellers and developing its technology platform. The company connects manufacturers with resellers, using drop-shipping to keep overheads low. GlowRoad’s 100,000 registered users build their own online store using the site, then sell their products locally through WhatsApp groups or in person. GlowRoad claims that its resellers currently complete around 1,000 transactions every day.

Verma’s goal was to develop a company that could empower women, especially those in more traditional areas of the country. Re-selling is a popular occupation for women in India, with the number of “housewife resellers” expected to reach 23 million by 2022. GlowRoad joins several other Indian programs aiming to help women entrepreneurs, including, a digital publication targeted at young women, which recently raised USD 2.7 million in a Series B funding round; and SheThePeople.TV, a digital storytelling platform for women. What other types of online platforms might help women to develop their own businesses?



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