This article is part of our series ‘Women for Women’ where we feature women-led social enterprises that offer a support structure and platform for women to express themselves, network, and launch their careers
What happens when a bright teenager full of ideas and ideals about empowering women comes together with a marketing professional with an MBA and corporate experience? You get a vibrant and quickly expanding online platform for women, with tens of thousands of users, millions of social-media followers, and uncountable employment opportunities generated.
That’s the story of Fuzia, founded five years ago by Riya Sinha, now an 18-year-old student of University of California at Berkeley, and run by Mumbai-based Shraddha Varma, now 31.
It is a global online women’s networking community and a talent showcase platform for creativity, built through the advent of virtual hiring. “Since the past five years, this has been our core model as we truly believed that ‘virtual working’ will be the future of work,” say the founders. In the age of lockdowns and work-from-home, their vision was indeed prescient.
Currently a team of 30 passionate women who work remotely from different parts of the world, Fuzia is essentially an online community and user-content-driven platform that “helps young women see their strengths, develop self-confidence, learn from their peers and become independent leaders.”
Members can post their work samples and get opportunities to earn through suitable work assignments, internships and projects. Their clients are companies and individuals around the world who have tied up with Fuzia for its members’ talent and expertise especially in social-media marketing, executive branding and campaign management.
Currently, the online networking community has over 50,000 members with over four million followers on social media. There is no age or geographical restriction to join Fuzia, however their users are typically aged 18 to 30, and hail primarily from countries like India, Pakistan, USA, Bangladesh, Morocco and Egypt.
They also come from various professional backgrounds and sensibilities, and are able to generate an income sitting at home.
For instance, Sarita Das, a 33-year-old member from Jajpur, Odisha, says, “I’m a passionate art and music lover. I love making diverse videos for the company.” Ira Gore, a 23-year-old from Kanpur, UP, who has been working as a content intern for a year with Fuzia, says, “I can feel the growth in me as a writer with each passing day. It’s great how Fuzia has been able to offer such opportunities to students and individuals who can work and learn outside their classrooms and homes, by staying indoors!”
Skilling is an important part of Fuzia’s work. Their in-house experts collaborate with social-media influencers and entrepreneurs from all fields and organise interactive live Q&A and training sessions to help women start their own ventures.
They also help them to become financially independent by providing them freelancing and internship opportunities for their skills. “Our aim is to make profit with a purpose. Five percent of the revenue that we earn from our Fuzia talent projects is dedicated towards the cause of women empowerment and skill development,” say the founders.
They add, “Our determination and belief is to celebrate women and their creative zeal so that they can live their dreams. We all deserve to shine.”
First published in eShe’s July 2020 issue
Syndicated to Money Control