The impact of empowered women!

December 8, 2008
By Rang De Team

If the fashion conscious are on the lookout for a wardrobe that’s chic, trendy and affordable, they need to walk into one of the retail outlets of a brand name for a stunning range of clothes or material that can be tailored to changing trends and styles.

The story behind the cutting edge designs, weaves, prints and embroidery of the “Brand names” is what we at Rangde found fascinating!

On one of our recent visits to Hyderabad with our partner organization, to assess a few potential borrowers, we came across a small-scale rural enterprise that supports a producer group that makes designer clothes for two leading apparel brands in India! (To remain competitive in the market, big brands find the use of rural entrepreneurial assistance a necessity!)

Leading brands like Lifestyle and Fab India that target the export market for high-value, hand-made garments innovatively work with this marginalized community. The producer groups, largely women, get design inputs, advice on quality, and product feedback from the companies that require their services.

This group of women, many of whom are illiterate are from the poor sections of the society around Charminar. By empowering these women to run their own producer groups in a competitive arena they have taught them how to achieve more secure incomes and stable finances to support their families, strengthen their communities and break the cycle of poverty.

We at RangDe, support such business models that foster economic growth and break the cycle of poverty, unemployment and meager household incomes!

Unfortunately, the majority of small-scale rural enterprises, like the one we stumbled upon at Hyderabad, are typically too poor and under-capitalized to be regarded as bankable by local financial institutions. The only local credit sources are often the moneylenders who charge unreasonably high monthly interest rates.

At Rangde, thanks to the growing number of “socially inclined” lenders we have been attracting, we can explicitly commit to working with such producer groups to fill the financing gap. The loans these producer groups need will be used to fund improvements to infrastructure that can radically improve the quality and quantity of production they can turn out everyday.

Think about it!