Apr 22, 2014

#HopeProject: From Oppression to Entrepreneurial Opportunity

As web host on an entrepreneur-focused show publishing video content in support and helpful to business owners and startups alike, I would like to thank my PR colleague and peer @Shonali for introducing me to the #HopeProject, a collaboration between Milaap and the ASSET India Foundation, which provides women (and their children) rescued from trafficking with life skills and opportunities.

There are countless of many wonderful, fundraising choices out there for most anyone to support but the #HopeProject is one that touched me in many ways. Not only am I a woman business owner and entrepreneur myself but, unbeknownst to many of you, I lived in India (New Dehli) from 1985-1987. While I was only a young teenager at the time, I was exposed to many beautiful aspects of the Indian culture while there. However, I also saw unimaginable poverty and extreme hunger which, sad to say, was rather widespread.

As you can imagine, living in India was a life-changing experience, one I will always carry with me for as long as I live. Moreover, in recent years and on a personal front, I’ve become personally aware of human trafficking issues (especially with that of women and children) and challenges both here in the USA and abroad. So when @Shonali brought the Milaap organization and its initiatives to my attention, it was an extremely easy decision to get behind and support their #HopeProject campaign and goals: to raise $100,000 in loans to fund 500 small businesses run by former Devadasis, so that they can become self-reliant once and for all.

The video above highlights the moving story of Mahananda, an ex-Devadasis who’s changing her life through entrepreneurship. I hope you will watch it; it’s 2 minutes and 8 seconds of time worth your attention.

Want to help?

If you would like to support this noble, dignified cause to help women transform tragedy into entrepreneurial opportunities, please consider supporting and learning more about the #HopeProject here.

And as for @Shonali, thank you!

@mayraruiz, host of @bizworkTV and founder of @ruizmcpherson & @smjobsdc