One of the perks of being a mom is that I get to meet some awesome women who are doing an amazing job raising their kids while conquering the world! I met one such amazing woman, Nitika Nautiyal, thanks to my daughter. Nitika’s son and my daughter play together at the park. In my professional life, I have not met many individuals who are such tremendous success stories, especially in the non-profit sector, and are still so humble and down to earth.
Although, Nitika does not “own” a business, she is very much an entrepreneur at heart, who is applying business solutions to solve social problems. Nitika is the first Executive Director for Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) an initiative of World Business Chicago. World Business Chicago is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city.
Nitika’s journey has been quite exceptional. While youngsters her age would chose to seek out the for-profit world, Nitika, at a very young age, decided to focus her energies towards social causes. Nitika started her career in ‘Micro finance’ in India working for SEWA – Self Employed Women’s Association – the biggest trade union of women in the unorganized sector in India. At SEWA, she developed credit and insurance products for those who either did not have a bank account or not enough funds to support a loan.
She then moved to the US and continued to work in the non-profit sector with ACCION, the biggest micro lending network in the US dedicated to creating affordable financial services solutions for small businesses. In her six years at ACCION she advised thousands of small businesses in Chicagoland. Always the one to challenge herself, in 2011, Nitika started her MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. During her MBA, she co-founded “Credit Serve” with fellow classmates at business school to serve as an online lending platform providing a responsible alternative to predatory loan options for military families.
When CreditServe was acquired by a national bank, Nitika returned to her true passion within the non-profit sector to join World Business Chicago as the first Executive Director for Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE). CASE is a network of prominent Chicagoland anchor institutions committed to collectively impacting neighborhood economic development through local purchasing, hiring, and investment. CASE is looking for professionals who are passionate about Chicago and making it a city which works for all its residents. Check out their website for latest job postings here.
Recently, Nitika was selected as one of sixty 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS). The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is a collaboration of the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson to bring together leaders from across the non-profit, military, public, and private sector fields to learn leadership lessons first-hand from the four presidencies.
In her own words, “I have been extremely fortunate to find a way to be led by my passion for social impact and to find the support from my family, mentors and my network through this non-traditional career path. I never really knew where I will end up but I somehow had people support me no matter what I decided to do and that gave me the confidence that I am onto something.” After such tremendous success in the non-profit sector, you would wonder that Nitika would be getting comfortable now. On the contrary, as she says “we are just getting started, the day we feel comfortable, I will be onto my next gig.”
So if you are entrepreneurial, want to shape Chicago’s future as a city and care about economic development, feel free to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn at Nitika Nautiyal.
Nitika, you are definitely a ‘WOW’ woman, making an impact that matters in the lives of so many. It has been a tremendous privilege to know you and wish you all the best for the great work you are doing. See you around in the park!