WEF 2018 first to be chaired entirely by women and this Indian entrepreneur is among them

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Updated: January 19, 2018 7:46:43 PM

While Narendra will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the World Economic Forum in two decades at Davos, Indian entrepreneur Chetna Sinha will be creating history by becoming a part of 'all-women' co-chairs for the first time in 48 years.

World Economic Forum 2018: This Indian woman entrepreneur among all-women co-chairs at Davos (Image Courtesy: Mann Deshi Org)

While Narendra will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the World Economic Forum in two decades at Davos and all eyes would be on his skills to hard-sell India Inc in the wake of recent reforms to top CEOs of the world, Indian entrepreneur Chetna Sinha will be creating history by becoming a part of ‘all-women’ co-chairs for the first time in 48 years. Chetna Sinha will join world women leaders and entrepreneurs, including IMF Director Christine Lagarde and former Norwegian PM Erna Solberg.

Chetna Sinha is a banker, activist and the president of micro-finance company Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank. Called a ‘silent crusader’ by Forbes magazine, Chetna Sinha has worked to make Maharashtra’s Mhaswad a destination for women entrepreneurship. Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank became the first bank in the country for and by rural women to get a cooperative license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Chetna Sinha’s Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank aims to provide one million women entrepreneurs with access to knowledge and capital, enabling them to have personal and professional agency in their lives. According to Yale World Fellows, Chetna Sinha abandoned the urban lifestyle to pursue a career in farming in the drought-prone area of Maharashtra. As a result, she experienced first-hand the difficulties facing women in this region, from the lack of financial support to the fact that they were not treated as viable entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, Chetna Sinha took Twitter to express her excitement for the World Economic Forum. “Leaving tonight for Davos to represent Mann Deshi at WEF 2018. Excited to discuss the challenges that rural women, micro-entrepreneurs face. We are going armed with a solution that has the power to transform the lives of millions in India,” she posted on Twitter.

“WEF 2018 theme is how to create a shared future in a fractured world. Founder of India’s first rural women bank Co-Chair WEF18, I come with solutions for creating a more inclusive and equitable world. All learnt from listening to women at grassroots,” posted on Twitter recently.

Among other co-chairs at Davos Summit, 2018 are European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) DG, Fabiola Gianotti, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general secretary Sharan Burrow, former Norwegian PM Erna Solberg, and top French businesswoman Isabelle Kocher.

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