CARE and H&M Foundation

CARE and H&M Foundation

56,000 women strengthened as entrepreneurs through program of CARE and H&M Foundation

Investing in women's economic empowerment - a catalyst for positive change! 

Since the start of CAREs partnership with the H&M Foundation two years ago, over 56,000 women from poor communities got the opportunity to become self sufficient entrepreneurs. In 11 countries worldwide these women have been provided with the funds and business skills they need, in order to startup or expand their own business - and change their future for generations to come.  

One of them is Bedryyah, a Syrian refugee that lives in Jordan and now has her own catering business. 

Maria Bystedt, project manager at H&M Foundation, recently visited Jordan: “We are very excited to see the impact this program has had so far. In Jordan I met so many women expressing their enthusiasm, witnessing about how the program has given them the tools and the courage to become empowered and transform their own lives.” 

Within the program CARE empowers women to take leadership of their own life. They start to believe in themselves and find the inner strength to become successful entrepreneurs. Through trainings they get equipped with the proper business and financial skills to develop a business plan, improve the quality of their products and find markets to start or increase sales.

CARE is convinced that encouraging and facilitating entrepreneurship for women is a vital step to fight poverty and achieve equality. The program not only helps women to increase their income and opportunities in life, it is also a core contributing factor in achieving equality between women and men. Reintje  van Haeringen, coordinator of the global Women Empowerment through Enterprise Development program, explains: “To support the women’s process of empowerment, in many countries we engage their husbands and sons. Through gender awareness trainings we enhance men’s sharing the load of household tasks, allowing women to dedicate time to their business. In the end this benefits a whole family, because when women earn, they invest the majority of their income in their families.”

About the global partnership

Around the world, women and girls are the ones that are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. They make up the majority of the world’s poorest people. In all regions of the world women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work. Women and girls are prevented from realizing their potential and dreams.

In three years time CARE, with support of the H&M Foundation, will provide more than 100.000 women in poor communities with access to tools, knowledge, skills training and/or seed capital to start up or to expand their businesses. Women are trained according to their needs, in sales expertise, general business development skills, and financial literacy.

We also organize five campaigns in Peru, Jordan, Nepal, Burundi, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone with powerful and inspiring role models that raise awareness regarding the barriers they have had to overcome to reach their full potential. The role models inspire women of poor communities to realize their dreams for a better future through the establishment of small businesses.

A global report is developed advocating for policy changes needed to ensure more women reach their full potential and exercise their rights. This report is offered to key policy makers and influencers on women’s rights and empowerment at the UN Commission on the Status of Women event in New York, March 2017.

Watch this video about the goals of the CARE - H&M Foundation program.

Watch this video to see how Ester, a 26 year old mother from Peru, is now an entrepreneur that inspires others.

For questions about this Global Partnership, please contact:

Reintje van Haeringen,
Coordinator of the Women Empowerment through Enterprise Development program
Email: vanhaeringen@carenederland.org


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