For the Women, By the Women – Happy Women’s Day from UpGrad and XpressHER

This Women’s Day, we are celebrating the ambition and zeal of professional women at UpGrad. We’re proud to share one such story of Almas, an alumna of the UpGrad Entrepreneurship Program who is all set to launch her dream venture, XpressHer – a social networking site for women. We congratulate her on realising her entrepreneurial calling and wish her luck for the endeavour.

 

“There’s no force more powerful than a woman who’s determined to rise.” Such is my story with XpressHER.

Two years ago, my only goal and focus in life was my next promotion in the L&D function of a multi-national organisation. But I knew, deep within, that I exist for a much larger cause and I had to seek that cause.

Today, I am all set to launch the biggest dream of my life – XpressHER, a social networking site for women with the purpose of connecting, celebrating and uplifting women worldwide.

(Also Read: The Road to Entrepreneurship: Perspectives of our Leading Ladies)

What is XpressHER?

A global online community for women from all walks of life to connect and create awareness on women-centric issues, policies, initiatives and to also create economic opportunities.

The social networking Web WebApp aims to support women’s need to express themselves on subjects specific to them, so as to enable them to uplift each other and start a movement of economic empowerment.

The gap I am trying to bridge with this site is of unavailability of a platform to help women with their needs – at different stages of their life.

Why XpressHER?

In my own journey I have known women who have lifted me up at various points – that have become turning points – and I see huge potential in us if we support each other as a community. To bring that larger purpose into all our lives, I decided to build XpressHER.com.

I do not have an MBA, nor a technology background. But what I did always have was a burning desire and relentless passion to build this community.

The venture took formal shape when I enrolled in the UpGrad Entrepreneurship Program. UpGrad was the catalyst that helped me take a seed and plant it beautifully into a prototype.

(Also Read: How to Get Your Start-Up Idea Validated)

With fire in my belly I took up the first step of putting together the prototype and the business plan for my venture. The format of this program includes a pitch day with investors. My vision, purpose and product got a lot of confidence when I landed up in the Top 3 Pitches in the UpGrad Pitch Day.

This opened up a whole lot of avenues, contacts, networks and support systems for me. I knew that I was on the right path. With continuing passion and perseverance, I finally decided to do a soft launch on Women’s Day, 8th March 2017.

(Also Read: How to Avoid 17 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make While Pitching to Investors)

Current Stage

The Web WebApp is under development and will take about 2 months to be completed. However, we are doing a soft launch of the product on Women’s Day, with the first feature called XpressHER stories.

While the platform is in the pipeline, I am building my team, creating awareness, networking and partnering with groups and forums that can promote XpressHER Stories for me. I am also looking to raise some funds from an investor to get ready to launch the next phase – Live Chats!

(Also Read: What are the Benefits of Facebook Advertising over Google?)

What are we doing on Women’s Day?

We are unveiling our platform with XpressHER Stories, which is a platform dedicated to stories of women from all walks of life. Every woman has a story and we would like that story to reach the world. We are running campaigns on social media and inviting women to read, like and encourage each others’ stories. The response so far has been phenomenal.

We have received a whole range of stories – stories of women who have braved hardships and many odds to pave their way through to success; stories of women juggling work and family, of pregnancy complications to sometimes raising children as single mothers. Stories of surviving abuse, harassment and depression to finding their voice and space in a male-dominated world.

Stories of creating wealth and abundance as entrepreneurs, to scaling unprecedented heights in the corporate world. Stories of fighting diseases and getting fit to stories of finding true love; and stories of selfless love, perseverance and truly finding themselves in the drama called ‘life.’

The Top 20 Stories with the most number of likes will get compiled in a book that will be published soon by us. Here, you have an amazing opportunity to inspire women and get published for free!

(Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Micro-Influencers [Gifographic])

My Vision for XpressHER

The Web WebApp that will initially begin with women-to-women interaction and then go on to become the go-to resource for all women for various needs.

To make the business sustainable and get revenues flowing, my plan is to get Operational Franchises using the Franchise Model. I see a huge number of women partnering with me to make this a viable commercial venture in the future. This is the strategy to ensure we have a consistently growing number of global users on the platform.

Therefore, I envision XpressHER growing to have a global presence. Join us in the movement! 

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Almas Shafiuddin

Almas Shafiuddin

Almas is an alum of the UpGrad Entrepreneurship Program. She is an entrepreneur and consultant and is at the final stages of launching her venture XpressHER. Prior to this, Almas was the Learning Lead at Vodafone India Services.