A Kiwi business podcast is not only educating women around the world about the stock market, it's also inspiring them to dive in and start investing themselves.
Girls That Invest is founded and hosted by Simran Kaur and Sonya Gupthan. The best friends launched the podcast in August 2020 with the aim of breaking down investing for young women both in New Zealand and abroad.
Since then, the podcast has exploded and has now had more than 1 million downloads and gets almost 200,000 monthly plays. Last year Girls That Invest not only hit number one in New Zealand in the Apple business podcast charts, but also in the US and Canada, as well as number two in the UK.
Girls That Invest is this month's Dell Change Maker. Dell and The Project have been recognising New Zealanders who have made a positive social impact in the community through the Change Maker campaign.
Kaur and Gupthan hope that by openly sharing their own experiences with money and investing, they can demystify the stock market and give others - especially women - the confidence to start their own journey to financial freedom.
"We don't come from a [financial] background and I think that keeps us somewhat relatable to the everyday person," says Kaur.
She says she first realised there was a gap in the market when it came to resources for young women to learn about investing during the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.
"I was home and I kind of started thinking about my experience when I was learning about the stock market and personal finance and how it didn't feel like there was a lot of space online or in person for female investors," she says.
"And I thought, well, if I feel a little bit excluded from the community, if I feel a little bit like I don't belong here, I'm sure I'm not the only person."
That realisation spawned a Facebook group and Instagram account - an account that today has more than 155,000 followers - and the beginnings of the Girls That Invest community.
"From there we kind of had this idea, what if we turned Girls That Invest into a podcast where Sonya and I, two best friends, just speak about our own experiences. And by speaking about our experiences, hopefully it just encourages someone listening at home to have those conversations with their own friends and family."
After starting out getting around 1000 plays a month, the pair decided they would stick with the podcast for a year and then reassess how it was going. The fact they have found the success they have is "mind blowing", says Kaur, who credits a mixture of social media and word of mouth for the podcast's initial growth.
"Turning up every week and just being very authentic and open and sharing our experiences I think just started to resonate with more people."
She also attributes the success to the fact many New Zealanders are keen to start making their money work for them but are unable to enter the housing market.
"Housing has become so unattainable for the average Kiwi, but investing has kind of gone the opposite way where it's gotten easier and easier as the years have gone by thanks to micro investing platforms."
And while the quality of their microphones may have improved since the early days of recording in their bedrooms, the pair still do all the recording and editing themselves and retain the same spirit as when they began, even though they now have hundreds of thousands of listeners.
"I think [listeners] appreciate that we keep investing in personal finance and the things that we talk about are really lighthearted and with a touch of humour and banter as well - I think that serves as a differentiator compared to other investing podcasts," says Gupthan.
Despite becoming financial mentors to many, neither Kaur nor Gupthan has a background in business and until recently both were making the podcast around their full time jobs - Kaur employed as an optometrist and Gupthan working in insurance.
The women stress the podcast isn't about giving financial advice to people, rather they just share their own experiences in a bid to "normalise talking about money".
And now, after connecting with so many people through the podcast, the next step for the women is to continue spreading their message in an upcoming book, which will be launched later this year.
This article was created for Dell.