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  Social Responsibility

Women Empowerment
Published on: Nov. 5, 2020, 10:42 a.m.
Goldman Sachs India empowers women entrepreneurs
  • Women’s empowerment is key to the efforts in India

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

Global investment banking and management major Goldman Sachs' has made a commitment of $1 million in grants, for providing critical relief and support to those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crises in India. Broadly, Goldman Sachs’ CSR initiatives in India are focused on women’s economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and access to capital as well as the promotion of education and social innovation, and betterment of health and environment.

The company involves its 'greatest resource', its employees, with various initiatives that aim to leave an indelible mark on society. Two of the flagship initiatives it supports in India are Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and Community Team Works (CTW). Its CSR focus and efforts in India are in alignment with its global philanthropic focus.

The 10,000 Women initiative, launched in 2008 on the understanding that investing in women entrepreneurs leads to economic growth and stronger communities, has benefited more than 10,000 women from 100 countries all over the world. In India, too, more than 1,600 women entrepreneurs have graduated from the programme, for which Goldman Sachs is working with IIM-Bangalore to deliver it in different parts of the country. 

CTW, which is a signature volunteering initiative launched in 1997, enables the company's own people to contribute their ideas, time and expertise to drive tangible progress in the communities where they work and live and make a meaningful difference. Amid the pandemic this year, a virtual CTW was launched for them to volunteer on a range of projects including mentoring small business owners from the 10,000 Women programme – helping homebound students and recording books for the visually impaired online.

Goldman Sachs seeks also to make a difference by supporting non-profit organisations in India to build capacity, invest in communities, access networks and expertise, and maximise impact. These organisations include The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Goonj, Pratham and Rotary Bangalore West Trust. During this pandemic till date, this has contributed to serving nearly 5,90,000 cooked meals and distribute about 35,500 dry ration kits of essential supplies to migrant labourers, daily-wage earners and their families in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR.

Over the past decade, the company has spent over $2.5 billion in various programmes to drive progress. Life would never be the same for Bharti, for example, if she had not benefitted from Akshaya Patra’s food programme that the company supports. With the global pandemic impacting the daily lives of people, Akshaya Patra's efforts to help provide critical relief and support to those most vulnerable during the crisis has been providing much-needed support for disadvantaged groups through its Covid-19 Food Relief Service, and seeks to improve the lives of those who have lost their source of income due to the lockdowns in India.

*This article was updated on 6 November 2020

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