H&M Foundation

CARE and the H&M foundation work together to empower people from poor areas. Together we help women in poor communities with entrepreneurship training and capital to start or expand a business.

vrouwelijke ondernemer Sandra Xiquin Chiroy uit Guatemala, 28 jaar in haar veld met poerend met wortelen

How does CARE support?

We help women in poor societies by training them in entrepreneurship. In addition, we support them financially, so that they can start or expand a business. In this way we give women the opportunity to take their fate into their own hands. They increase their self-confidence and find the strength to become successful entrepreneurs.

We coach and train women in the skills they need to run a successful business, such as business, finance, negotiation -, and leadership skills. They also receive the necessary training to improve the quality of their products or services.We provide access to capital. For this purpose we work together with financial service providers. In areas where there are no banks, we set up our own savings and loan groups, so that women are able to borrow credit from each other and external credit from a bank is not necessary. The women contribute a small amount each week. They take turns borrowing money from this saved capital. The interest they pay is remitted to all group members.
We help women find a market for their products or services, within local, national and international markets. CARE also works with companies to look for opportunities in the market where women can add value, such as USPs in the field of fair trade, certification, packaging and/or other quality requirements.Inequality in relationships often prevents women from starting a business or deciding how to spend their own earned income. CARE ensures an open dialogue with men and boys and trains them so that men can take on more household tasks and women can free up time for their own business.
Women are each other’s source of inspiration. We bring entrepreneurs in contact with each other. They coach and learn from each other, and make use of each other’s network.CARE works with businesses and local women’s networks to promote rules and laws through lobbying and advocacy that enable and promote entrepreneurship for women from poor communities.

“It is very inspiring to see the results the program has achieved so far. I met enthusiastic women in Jordan who told me how the project gives them the resources and the courage to move forward on their own and improve their lives.”

Maria Bystedt, Project Manager at the H&M Foundation

Promoting equality and inspiring each other

Women have the power to lift their families and the entire community out of poverty. As long as they have the right resources and opportunities.

Stimulating and enabling entrepreneurship is an important step to strengthen the position of women. The project not only helps women increase their income and create more opportunities, but also promotes equality.

In addition, women are a fantastic source of inspiration for each other. Watch the short video below about how women inspire each other. Would you like to see more? Watch the full video here.

Some tangible examples of the impact we have achieved in the different countries:

Growth of income
All 10,000 participating women in Burundi have increased their income. The average increase in income was 202%. The lowest increase was 104% and the highest 401%.
Improved production process
After CARE’s training, women in Sri Lanka were able to weave not 1 meter, but 4 meters without making any mistakes.
Equality in division of household tasks
By providing training on equality between men and women in Burundi, men take on more household tasks. For example, they support their women in setting up their own businesses.
Increased confidence and leadership
In Zambia, CARE has trained women as business agents selling nutritious food and health products in poor communities in the capital Lusaka. More than 82% of entrepreneurs indicate that their self-confidence and life has been improved by the project.
Access to credit
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 76% of the population does not have a bank account. CARE has linked female entrepreneurs in Burundi to the Kenya Central Bank, so that they can take out loans under good and safe conditions.
Better local conditions
In Ivory Coast CARE organized meetings with female role models and local authorities. The government now recognizes the importance of female entrepreneurship and wants to use the role models as mentors for local entrepreneurs who could use support.
Growth of market
In Peru new markets have been opened up since the entrepreneurs are able to deliver a constant quality and have obtained the necessary permits. Products such as chocolate, honey and coffee are now sold in organic stores in the capital Lima.

Would you also like to work together with CARE?

That is possible! Together we can fight poverty by combatting inequality. There are various possibilities for collaborating with CARE.

Read more