Saihiti Divi founded Impact Scientist in 2019, an initiative that helps female weavers in Malikipuram, Andhra Pradesh, bring their wares to the fore and interested buyers. A gender equality enthusiast, Divi has earlier led the partnerships vertical for a global social start-ups, and holds a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and Executive Education in sustainable business strategies from Hult International Business School, UK. She has even conducted field studies with UNDP in Sri Lanka.
In an interview with The New Indian Express (TNIE), Divi said, “My passion is to eradicate gender inequality to create a change at every level of the pyramid for fostering economic growth. Through dialogue, I hope to change the mindset of people in the way they perceive women and equality in this country. That is what Impact Scientist, my enterprise which started in August 2019, is all about.”
Her quest to tell more stories of inspiring women led her to Auroville. “It's truly a paradise for social entrepreneurs. It is the path of self-discovery, of wanting to do more, that led me to this place,” she said in an interview with TNIE Edex Live.
However, it was only after she reached Mohanam Village Heritage Centre that she uncovered a vast pool of untapped potential. Mohanam has a rich heritage of bridging the gap between Auroville and its surrounding villages that spans over two decades. But it also helps to preserve its inherent tradition and culture. “They have been working in the space of women empowerment for over 10 years and I felt that my vision aligned with theirs perfectly,” says Divu. “There are several incubation centres already, but it's not just about the journey of your idea after its germination, it's also what you do prior to it that counts,” she adds.
The doors of Auro Women's Innovation Centre recently established by Divi, are wide open for all women, no matter their age, background, or educational qualifications. If you've got a will to start-up, then they've got the space. “I don't expect everyone to become Indra Nooyis, but if they are able to find a sustainable and economic solution for themselves and realise their full potential, then it's a success,” she says.