“When women work, they invest 90 percent of their income back into their families, compared with 35 percent for men. By focusing on girls and women, innovative businesses and organizations can spur economic progress, expand markets, and improve health and education outcomes for everyone”
This quote has stayed with me ever since I heard it many years ago, and I guess has become the backbone of how I have structured the business of HJK. Giving women hand-work that they can do in their homes, and paying them directly really does make a difference. They can earn a living in their own time, continue their other responsibilities of looking after their families; some of the women who knit with us cook for up to 8 people 3 times a day. There is no convenience food, or even refrigerators, so food is often prepared from scratch a number of times a day.
I stopped thinking of a business as really everything I had learnt it to be - of a top-down structure, and started to see it as a circle of women though which work and money flowed through me: from you, the customer, to them, our skilled workers.
I love re-thinking how we do things, but maybe it isn’t a question of innovation, but a question of remembering what we have always done and the power that is within our own hands and the hands of women the world over.
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