Who should be nominated

The program is intended for grass-root level, under–privileged women, from either rural or urban areas who have excelled as social change leaders in the fields of education or health or micro-enterprise.

The nominee’s accomplishments over the last three years will be evaluated. Where the nominee is part of a project, we will seek information on the impact of the nominee’s individual efforts on the community, rather than the overall project outcomes.


The nominee may be running her own initiative or organization. Or she could be employed by another non-profit organization. Alternatively, she could be working as an individual volunteer (e.g. ASHA, Community mobilizer) or be part of the local government system (i.e. a sarpanch) or a government employee from the grassroots

The Program will encourage women who have not had an opportunity to study, or have studied against all odds, or have achieved several milestones without any formal or informal education. Women who have done exemplary work at a young age will also be encouraged.


Regardless of the formal nature of her employment/work, the nominee should be a self-motivated woman who exhibits role-model leadership skills.

Participants of the CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program are expected to deepen and scale their ideas and programs for social change. Therefore, only those nominees who are willing to participate in leadership trainings, mentoring and capacity building initiatives, as well as willing to build the Woman Exemplar network may be nominated.


Why you should apply?


Each year, the program empowers, recognizes, and celebrates 15 women leaders who have relentlessly worked and become role models of change at the grassroots level, especially in the rural geographies or from any challenging/ disadvantaged environments. An award is given to 3 women each year with a citation, a trophy and a cash award of Rupees three lakhs each for the winners.

Capacity Building

Building Capacities of the women leaders to increase the scale and impact of their programs through leadership training, coaching and access to an India-wide peer network for the Woman Exemplars and create a new rung of leaders working on health, education and Microenterprise within marginalised communities.

Become a part of a network of women working to transform India

The program seeks to create a national level network of grassroots change agents and inspire and create many more such leaders at the grassroots and induce a bottom up approach of development.