Indiaspora partners with MET Community to Celebrate Women Entrepreneurs in the Nation’s Capital

November 13th, 2017 AT&T Forum, 601 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

Indiaspora recently partnered with MET Community, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting innovative, sustainable and responsible women entrepreneurship, as it hosted their Third Annual ForoMET DC to celebrate International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate, empower and support women entrepreneurs and alleviate poverty.

The event, which took place on November 13th in downtown Washington DC, attracted more than 100 attendees, including entrepreneurs, local business leaders and longtime MET supporters. As Director of MET Community’s United States Chapter, not only was I one of the organizers, but I had the honor to:

  • Moderate a panel on women economic empowerment with leading gender expert at The World Bank, Paula Tavares, and President and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nicole Quiroga.
  • And see MET’s work come to life by witnessing MET mentees present their business ideas to a panel of judges and potential investors

Highlights from the Panel Discussion on Women Economic Empowerment

Why does women economic empowerment continue to be a relevant topic? Studies show that women businesses can have a strong economic impact in their communities and beyond. Yet, gender laws in some countries prevent women from establishing and managing their own businesses.  While governments are working simultaneously with prominent international organizations to challenge these types of laws, there are other issues that women entrepreneurs face that can be overcome with the right tools and training combined with the support of a network. These include:

  • Overcoming insecurities. During our panel discussion, both Tavares and Quiroga, noted confidence is a factor that holds many women entrepreneurs back. Unlike their male counterparts, women are more hesitant when it comes to taking risks or asking for more funding.
  • Recognizing the importance of networking. Quiroga made a great point when it came to networking, which was, “If you are attending a networking event, plan ahead. Review the list in advance (if you can) and find at least five people that you want to meet.”
  • Taking advantage of available resources. Organizations like MET provide entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentoring and opportunities that can help them establish and grow their businesses.

The opening panel served as a great starting point for an unforgettable evening. Following the discussion, attendees enjoyed a second fireside chat on “How to Pitch Your Brand,” with the finale being  MET Community US’s first women startup competition, featuring seven MET mentees. Each who had the confidence to present their business idea to a room of more than 100 attendees. The winner was Yurani Sandoval, a single mother originally from Colombia, who is developing a mobile app to connect single parent families.

Sherrie Bakshi is the Director of MET Community’s US Chapter.  A communications and web strategist with more than 15 years of experience in marketing, communications and web development, she works closely with associations and nonprofit organizations.  She is also a published writer with articles appearing in PRSA’s Tactics, Charleston Magazine and Qatar In-flight Magazine. Sherrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of South Carolina.





Danielle Tate, Deloris Wilson, and Angelique Sinha speak on a panel
Sherrie Bakshi, Director of MET Community’s US Chapter, moderates a panel with Paula Tavares, leading gender expert at The World Bank, and Nicole Quiroga, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Yurani Salvador addresses fellow women entrepreneurs



Check out photos from this year’s FOROMET here.