Chetna Gala Sinha / Microfinance

Economist, farmer and activist, Chetna Sinha Gala developed India’s first rural co-operative bank owned by women. The Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, a micro-enterprise development bank, works with low-income women and provides business loans. She also established a business school for rural women that provides training in entrepreneurial skills and launched a community radio station, providing a valuable platform for information sharing and creative self-expression. Mann Deshi aims to launch one million rural women entrepreneurs through partnerships with social enterprises and mainline financial institutions in India. India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development has nominated Chetna as a member of the Governing Board of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK). She was also named India Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Schwab Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.