Empowering rural women

Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets founder & CEO

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Ajaita Shah
We believe in helping rural customers, women, and suppliers connect on an even playing field through economic opportunities.
  • Frontier Markets is a social enterprise that empowers rural women with technology to provide people in some 2,500 remote Indian villages with last-mile products and services, including clean energy, agricultural tools and home appliances. Frontier Markets earns commission from each sale, plus marketing fees from suppliers; it shares 70% of revenue with its 10,000 saleswomen, with the remaining 30% used to scale into new locations.
  • Women represent less than one-fifth of workers in India, with rural women leaving the workforce at a faster rate than those in cities, and the average female salary is only two-thirds that of their male peers1. At the same time, millions of households lack access to reliable electricity, internet, and/or shops supplying high-quality tools and home appliances due to their remote location.2
  • Frontier Markets has doubled in size annually, and this past year sold 2.2 million products to 400,000 households. During the Covid pandemic, Frontier Markets were also able to use their data and supply chains to ensure villagers had essentials despite nationwide lockdowns.
  • Frontier Markets now aims to reach 30 million rural families across four Indian states, by partnering with 100 local NGOs to train 150,000 new saleswomen in the next three years. They will also add new languages to their app for further localization, and enhance their data analytics tools to share more insights.
  • Ajaita and Frontier Markets have received many plaudits, notably from the United Nations3,4, CNBC5 and The Clinton Foundation6.

Frontier Markets work towards these UN Sustainable Development Goals:

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