We Rise By Lifting others

In Gujarati, my native language, there is a fragrant and beautiful flower called saaheli, which also means “girlfriend.” Growing up I watched the vine of Saaheli grow and climb the wall of my great aunt’s house. It seemed it was growing limitlessly every time I visited her house.
I believe that like the saaheli vine, women, too, have unlimited growth potential. With enough encouragement and support, especially from a tribe of other women, they can flourish and reach the sky.
When I wanted to start a community to empower women I naturally thought of naming it Saaheli. In 2012, I created Saaheli to Educate , Engage and Empower women to realize their true potential by breaking cultural, social and economic barriers.

My own story is a testament to the importance of fostering an environment where women find encouragement and uplift one another. Immigrating to the United States as a young Indian woman who spoke barely any English, I faced many social and cultural barriers. But thanks to a few kind people who saw my potential, I was given the opportunity to progress, grow and lead, culminating in a nearly 40-year career in hospitality. It was being in an open minded family environment that provided transformative powers to a young woman like me who had not finished high school but believed she could do anything. Today, as an established industry leader and having Achieved the American dream has instilled in me a deep desire to pay it forward to the women leaders of tomorrow.

“Women need a tribe of their own to lift them up, to celebrate their successes, to encourage them to Dream Big , and empower them to make their dreams come true”

– Sima Patel

About Us

Saaheli is a California 501c3 tax exempt organization based in Oakland CA. It was founded in 2012 by two entrepreneurs who came to the United States in the 1970’s and have built a family business in hospitality. They are the quintessential American Dream. Achieving the American dream has inspired them to help others.

Saaheli’s main mission is to empower women globally through education, workshops, entrepreneurship and training as well as an online community of women supporting each other.



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