First-year Gobhanu Korisepati receives a 2024 Legacy Award

Korisepati, a student in the Hunstman Program at Penn, accepted the 2024 Diana Legacy Award for humanitarian work from the Prince of Wales at a ceremony held March 14.

Prince William presenting an award to Gobhanu Sasankar Korisepati,
Britain’s Prince William presents an award to Gobhanu Sasankar Korisepati, a first-year student at the University of Pennsylvania from Oman, during the Diana Legacy Award, at the Science Museum in London, on March 14, 2024. (Image: Arthur Edwards/Pool Photo via AP)

First-year student Gobhanu Sasankar Korisepati is one of just 20 young people globally to receive a 2024 Diana Legacy Award, in recognition of social action or humanitarian work. Korisepati was honored for his work as the founder of Sustaining Women in Financial Turmoil (SWIFTmfi), a microfinance organization providing financial services to individuals and small businesses globally in underserved communities worldwide.

The Legacy Award, established by The Diana Award organization in 2017 on the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, is awarded biennially to outstanding young leaders, visionaries, and role models across the globe. The 20 Legacy Award recipients were chosen by an independent judging panel, selecting from a pool of individuals, already recognized for their impact on society with The Diana Award in 2022 or 2023.

First recognized with a Diana Award in June 2022, Korisepati accepted the Diana Legacy Award at a ceremony held March 14. The award was conferred by William, Prince of Wales, Diana’s elder son, with congratulations relayed by Harry, Duke of Sussex, her younger son. The awards are backed by the brothers.

Korisepati, who is from Oman, founded SWIFTmfi in 2019 when he was 14. Since then, SWIFTmfi has supported more than 3,000 women in 77 countries to start sustainable businesses, achieve financial independence, and break the cycle of poverty with a direct estimated impact to more than 70,000 lives. In addition, SWIFTconnect, an innovative online tool launched by SWIFTmfi, has further extended financial literacy and empowerment to more than 400 young people across Asia and Africa. A dual-degree student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Korisepati juggles his studies with leadership of SWIFTmfi and mentoring other young people in the area of social entrepreneurship.

“Being recognized with the Legacy Award is not just a personal achievement but a celebration of the collective effort and resilience of the communities we serve,” he said. “It inspires me to continue working towards a world where opportunity is not a privilege but a right accessible to all. To be recognized as a part of the late Princess Diana’s legacy is an honor that transcends individual accolades, embodying the essence of compassion, philanthropy, and a tireless commitment to improving the lives of others.”

The award also grants recipients access to the Legacy Award Development Programme, offering tailored support to further their social action projects as well as a grant from the United Kingdom-based charity. This includes special opportunities to attend events with potential partners and receive guidance from the Diana Award Team, aimed at enhancing the awardees capacity for innovation, leadership, and social change.