Go for your passion!

Chasing dreams

Go for your passion!

Armed with a 15 year experience in coaching and training, backed by a degree in nursing, Caroline Fernandes started ‘Vibha: Woman Empowerment for Entrepreneurship’ in February 2015, a Bengaluru-based platform that aims to empower women entrepreneurs to be financially independent.

“Owing to my own experiences with business back in 2007, I realised that there is a need for an exclusive woman focused platform to build their skills, knowledge and inspire grit. ‘Vibha’ in Sanskrit means cosmic light and this start-up wants to empower women entrepreneurs to persist, to see hope, feel inspired and have the will to go on as well as to plan strategically and make decisions confidently when driving their businesses,” says Caroline.

She explains that ‘Vibha’ is all about mentoring women entrepreneurs, providing them support in terms of office space and also financial aid required for running a business.

And the good part is that it helps out both women with active enterprises and those who have ideas but are yet to get started.

However, Caroline says, “As part of our initial study with over 200 women over the past year, we have realised that there’s a lot more need for women already in business vis-a-vis women who have an idea. But that doesn’t mean that the idea stage is not a stage that needs serious consideration, it’s just that the challenges are intensely real. A deeper understanding of the ‘why, how and what’ can equip women to foresee challenges, plan things out and act accordingly with confidence.”

She adds, “Many start-ups are under the assumption that money can eliminate all problems. But women need to learn how to be money wise when embarking on a venture. Bengaluru being the start-up capital, there’s been a lot of noise over the years around start-ups being successful in getting investors to put. However, borrowing money always means that one has to return. That’s why mentoring can play a vital role in giving women clarity on starting a business, alleviating fears and helping them charter a course. And that’s exactly where we step in.”

The young platform has a team of dynamic mentors and associates who conduct sessions from time to time. Ganesh Vancheeswaran, whose book ‘the Underage CEO’ has recently been released, comes with expertise in advertising and media and is a part of the core planning and mentoring team. Krishna Mitter, co-founder with Citrya, has mentored senior roles in many companies and believes that his learning from senior women leaders he groomed and worked with can help groom others.

‘Vibha’ also has a Facebook page wherein they share several inspiring women entrepreneurs’ journeys that Caroline says “serve as ways to let others know ‘if I can do it, so can you’”.

“Our blog is where we speak about women exclusive issues, share perspectives, gain insights into ways others have managed challenges and motivate them to keep going. The sessions are also a great way to plan your next step forward,” says Caroline.

 They are currently mentoring women entrepreneurs in the textile, photography, home decor, education and human resource industries and looking forward to helping those in many otherfields. With several goals ahead and a focus on building capability, confidence and capacity, ‘Vibha’ is surely looking at helping many ladies fulfill their dreams and realise their passion in a healthy, viable manner.

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