College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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A Screening and Panel Discussion of the Movie




Background (excerpted and adapted from 


Shakti Rising evolved out of conversations between Madura Microfinance, a non banking finance company operating across Tamil Nadu, India, that provides small loans to 400,000 rural women along with products that expand market access, and Usha Rajeswari, a documentary filmmaker. Madura pushed on with the concept of a business training film, teaming up with a non profit called the Marketplace Literacy Project, founded by Madhu
Viswanathan, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The Marketplace Literacy Project provided business training through an innovative approach to this audience and Madhu had spent several years
researching subsistence marketplace entrepreneurs and had developed extensive curriculum. Working on the one hand with women whose lives inspired the film, and on the other hand with Madhu and his team, Rajeshewari wove a story and script that captured the essence of the messages of entrepreneurship. The name Shakti Pirakkudhu means in the Tamillanguage,'a new strength is born'. In English this has been translated as Shakti Rising. The movie has received an Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Movie Awards (



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