This Women’s Day, we celebrate those who stepped out of their comfort zones and started a revolution in the entrepreneurial world. Across sectors and domains, these 10 fearless women have created an impact that has not only stood out but inspired countless others in the process. Let’s take a look.

1. Kavya Saxena In 2021, Kavya quit her job in Gurugram to take the beauty of tribal products to the world through her platform, ‘Craftpotli’. This initiative encourages tribal Odisha women to come together, weave shawls, prepare pickles, and more.

2. Arati Hiremath In 2011, Arati started ‘Artikrafts’ in Karnataka to save the languishing kasuti embroidery art form, partnering with over 200 local artisans. Their creations include shawls, sarees, dupattas and bags embroidered with traditional motifs.

3. Satwinder Kaur When Satwinder’s husband moved abroad leaving her to fend for herself in 2010, she channelled her angst by founding the ‘Abb Nahi Social Welfare Society’ in Ludhiana. So far, she has helped over 550 abandoned brides and grooms to regain their lives through this venture.

4. Kriti Tula  Through Delhi-based ‘Doodlage’, Kriti uses factory discarded cloth to make and sell clothes as a sustainable alternative to high-end fashion. As part of a corporate project, they “diverted more than 5,000 kg of fabric from landfills and saved over 46 million litres of water in the process”.

5. Pooja Apte Creator of the brand ‘Nemital’, Pune resident Pooja converts discarded tyres into fashionable footwear. She sources scrap tyres from ragpickers or from companies involved in pyrolysis. To date, she has “sold about 1,000 pairs of footwear upcycling 400 kg of scrap tyres”.

6. Kanchan Parulekar In 1992, Kanchan quit her role as a bank manager to help women from marginal communities through her venture, ‘Swayamsiddha’, a Kolhapur-based organisation. The businesses range from running bakeries, food processing units and bag manufacturing units to beauty parlours and handicrafts.

7. Minakshi Jhaveri Having started with four items on her tiny menu, priced at four aanas, today Minakshi’s venture ‘Swati Snacks’ clocks turnover in crores. In the last five decades, this Mumbai eatery has found fans in stalwarts including MF Husain and Zakir Hussain.

8. Manju Devi Poddar Cooking since the age of 15, Manju prides herself on the recipes from her mother and grandmother. The 65-year-old started ‘Nani’s Special’ in Kolkata selling handmade sweets — such as ‘Mava ki Parwal’ and ‘Nariyal Chakki’, and now earns lakhs.

9. Kamal Kumbhar  Kamal had to drop out after Class 10 due to poverty and was married off at 17. But today, she runs six different enterprises in Osmanabad, including an organic farming business, a compost business, a light bulb business, a mess for school children, and two poultry ventures.

10. Nagamani Bengaluru resident ‘Mani aunty’ experienced hair fall in her college days and found a home remedy that worked wonders, which led the 88-year-old to start her own hair oil brand ‘Roots & Shoots’. The oil is made using a 150-year-old recipe and “sells around 60-70 litres of oil in peak times”.