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Social Empowerment: Sustainable Life, Self-reliance, Dignity, Love and Respect

Naila Chowdhury, this week's guest blogger, has worked on women's empowerment and gender equality for over 20 years.

Naila Chowdhury, this week’s guest blogger, has worked on women’s empowerment and gender equality for over 20 years.

My passion is to give back to the women, girls and youth of the world. Sustainable projects, promoting financial inclusion have been the basis of my work for many years. It is my calling. I travel and work in different continents and countries worldwide to share my expertise, love and compassion led me to ensure women & girls have access to skills development and job opportunities.

Originally from Bangladesh, I’ve been fortunate to work in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Bhutan, Nepal , Pakistan, Eastern Europe, Nordic Countries and United States of America. My restless soul sought out and connected to people who shared my passion to give back. I knew the true secret of living is giving back.

My focus has been women’s causes, especially girls who were unfortunate victims of violence abated by societal apathy. Be it rich, middle class or poor, women become victims without exception. Human lives are intimately interconnected. The practice of violence against women remains pervasive in all societies. We might have different variations on the theme, but at its fundamental core it is really the result of unequal relationships to which women are condemned in a male dominated society and we have to deal with this silent tragedy over and over again.

When I teamed with others to make amends for this gross injustice, I realized that nothing is more effective than the power of collaboration. When the right people come together, the strength of such unity breaks down all barriers to get positive results. A sustainable life must be nurtured in an inclusive world ought to involve and evolve into a more equitable place around a diverse community. If my neighbor is not sustainable my community will not have a healthy growth. If my community has growth and harmony so will my city , state and country. Everything is intertwined, and even a hug or a compassionate hearing can revive many broken dreams.

"People may hate you for being different & not living by society’s standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same” – Author unknown Naila at an IT skills development class for Acid Survivors in TeleConsult Group, Bangladesh

“People may hate you for being different & not living by society’s standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same” – Author unknown An IT skills development class for Acid Survivors in TeleConsult Group, Dhaka, Bangladesh

After 20 years of working endlessly for women empowerment and gender equality, I have come to believe that the violence we live with on a daily basis starts with the way in which violence is perpetrated and allowed in the home. This is the place where the first distinction between human beings gets made: between men and women. Violence becomes a legitimate way to assert power and resolve conflict and becomes the norm.

Most of the violence is triggered by deep-rooted causes of childhood circumstance. Access to a stable home and financial stability definitely plays a huge role in sustainable growth of people and community. If violence is allowed within the home, then I believe it is no accident that we then watch violence play itself out in reality in gangs, on the streets everything is connected.

We already know that violence against women is a human rights issue. We also know that it’s about women’s public and political participation and their ability to step into the economic system. Violence against women is at the core of the value system of how we live our lives, how we treat one another, how we treat other species, and how we treat the planet itself. If we want harmony and growth we need to address this and sustainable growth and engagement.

Ghana woman selling tomatoes

Image: Jim Hecimovich

One of the universal solutions to poverty of mind and circumstance is economic empowerment of individuals and groups. Sustainable livelihood, how do we attain it? How do we get out of the vicious cycle of poverty? Financial inclusion is a big component for peace. Along with it there is no substitute for small and micro business, which involves individual empowerment while it also addresses community development needs, engagement and employment.

To this end, we have created the platform of social credit empowerment. It is an option and choice for everyone, inclusive of the un-bankable women in society and the middle class with no access to collateral and business opportunities.

We help women share business ideas, hone their business pitch and scale existing businesses. We invest in ideas and grow together. Our platform is defined as “Dynamic acceleration of economic empowerment through increased efficiency of capital.”

Image: Jim Hecimovich

Image: Jim Hecimovich

Economic Empowerment is the Crux of Social-Credit, and we help women overcome poverty at the granular level through the increased efficient use of capital.

The outcomes support a Life with Dignity, Self-reliance, Self-esteem, Respect and Love. Sustainability is achieved by earning a living and not being dependent on charity.


  1. Poor communities possess fundamental skills that sit underutilized. Those skills are a legacy of successful civilizations. They remain an inherent part of any community. Jobs may have been lost, yet skills remain. We are dedicated to identifying and shaping these skills into a new 21st century platform for individual self-reliance, community cohesion, growth and sustainability.

  2. Maximize existing human capital and low cost state-of-the-art technology and innovation to start community based self-sustaining businesses and create jobs.

  3. Eliminate charity as the primary source of capital. To foster dignity, money should be earned through creation of sustainable businesses.

  4. Ensure economic empowerment of individuals, as well as self-esteem and dignity for all through skills-building and commitment to business success.

  5. Community economic development through entrepreneurship and by accelerating positive social change.

  6. Investors get back their net investment after the agreed minimum term of 1 year but not limited to 1 year.

  7. Investors are our partners. They share a nano percentage profit monthly, equivalent to no more than 2% or 2.5% interest on invested amount, but can accept less or as per inflation rate of country.

  8. Investors’ money can be kept in the bank only for themselves or designated as Social-Credit, it can economically empower many others to lead a life with dignity, self-esteem, love and respect.

  9. Investors have the option of withdrawing their investment after the loan term is finished or re-investing it with more economic empowerment projects. After sharing a percentage with investor(s), the projects retain a portion of the profit to continue to build the business and scale up.

  10. Investment in selected project(s) which have to have mentors and be sustainable.

FOCUS: Socially and Economically grow people, one at a time, in self-worth, dignity, self-esteem, and living without dependence on charity. #OneDayIWill want to see all #womenentrepreneurs have access #socialcredit #IWD2016 #CSW RT

Naila Chowdhury is a leading management professional, motivational speaker and philanthropist, peacebuilder from Bangladesh. Her core focus is creating self-sustaining programs that economically empower girls, youth and women through Social Credit to underprivileged women in groups and individuals. Naila is a Member, TPN, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is also founding member of Fashion4Development, New York, as well as board director to Athgo International, Better World Wireless and Advanced Development for Africa. She is founder and chair, TeleConsult Group, Women4Empowerment & Alliance4Empowerment

Naila Chowdhury is one of the panelists on the session: Leading Around the Barriers, on Day 2 of Power Shift 2016: Women and Leadership.


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