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Our Founder

Nasreen Sheikh, the founder of Empowerment Collective. As a survivor of modern slavery, Nasreen's journey began in small rural village in Rajura, an undocumented village on the India-Nepal border, where she witnessed and experienced the harsh realities of forced marriage, child labor, and extreme poverty. Determined to change her fate, she escaped to Kathmandu, where she became a child laborer in a textile factory. Her life took a turn when she met Leslie John, an American intellectual and writer, who became her mentor, teaching her to read, write, and understand basic human rights.

Nasreen's transformative experience led her to establish Local Women’s Handicrafts in Kathmandu at the age of 16, a pioneering social business that empowered women in a region dominated by male businessmen.This step marked the beginning of her journey as a social entrepreneur. Her commitment to change deepened following the 2015 Kathmandu earthquake and her "person to person" approach to human aid, leading her to advocate internationally for transparent global economic systems, supply chain transparency, and modern slavery legislation.

Today, Nasreen Sheikh is recognized as an influential speaker and advocate, sharing her story and insights through reputable platforms like the United Nations and the European Union. Her work emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to ending modern slavery, encompassing cultural heritage preservation and community empowerment.

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