Ajaita Shah

Founder & Chief Executive Officer-Frontier Markets

Ajaita drives vision, strategy, investments, and partnerships at Frontier Markets. She has been working with social enterprises and in rural India in microfinance, rural distribution, marketing, and access for 15+ years, and has committed to empowering rural women across the developing world through business models, financial inclusion, technology, data, and inspiring women to push themselves beyond their societal boundaries. Frontier Markets is an award-winning startup (Fintech Innovation Challenge Winner UNCDF, SDG Finance Summit’s Highest Impact Award, and more), that has a network of 10,000 digitally savvy rural women entrepreneurs who have helped 700,000 households adopt 1 million high impact solutions in India through technology impacting 4.9million people. Ajaita is the recipient of prestigious awards including: Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Women Transforms India Award, Digital Women of the Year, CNBC’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year, Loreal Women of Worth and more. She is a Women’s Changemaker Fellow at Womanity Foundation, Dasra Leadership Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Cordes Fellow. She has spoken in many forums including COP 23, UN High Level Political Forums, UN SDG Summit, and more on social enterprise perspective from the field, to digital inclusion, to gendersmart investing. Ajaita serves on the board of Frontier Innovations Foundation and SHINE Invest.

Frontier Markets is a startup based in Jaipur, Rajasthan focused on connecting rural customer to value-driven, high quality, products and services at their doorstep. Frontier Markets has created an assisted e commerce platform designed and run by rural women entrepreneurs, called Saral Jeevan Sahelis, to facilitate access to clean energy, home appliances, smart phones, digital financial services to over 700,000 rural customers in Rajasthan, UP, Bihar and Odisha. Leveraging its hybrid, high-tech, high-touch, B2B2C platform, Frontier Markets has onboarded 1 million rural customers on its platforms, generating insights to help over 50 product and service companies curate products for rural customers, and track real-time impact on customers and entrepreneurs. 10,000 rural women entrepreneurs have earned over $15MN of income driving impact in their villages.