Industree is committed to building sustainable livelihoods for rural producers in India and empowering them. Industree's project in Karnataka involves aiding rural women in setting up and running micro-enterprises to produce goods for the apparel sector. A key element of the intervention includes imparting business skills and social empowerment training to the women, so that they are able to manage the enterprises themselves, and develop their communities.
A larger number of rural women are trained to cater to the burgeoning apparel sector. Many of them migrate to urban centres for employment, and are subject to human rights abuses like low wages, long hours, forced overtime, unsafe working conditions and sexual, physical and verbal abuse. Though they form a majority of the workforce, there is very little representation of women in leadership and supervisory roles, leaving them with no sense of entitlement or belonging in the value chain.
Industree aims to restore agency to women producers, by aiding them in building sustainable livelihoods near their homes. Women with prior experience in tailoring and embroidery, who would otherwise need to migrate for employment, are aggregated into groups and given support to start an enterprise. This enables them to earn regularly and build a career close to their homes. With training in Business Skills and Social Development, the women would also have the skills to manage their enterprise.
Women in rural India would become owners of micro-enterprises that supply quality products to modern markets, earn regular incomes, contribute to the well-being of their families, and take on leadership roles. Apart from the economic empowerment of women, we envision them making informed decisions with respect to their careers, their finances and their families, thereby resulting in rural communities where women have a strong and equitable role to play.