Bano Fatima: Social entrepreneurship and economic empowerment
Co-founder of Weaver's Hut in New Delhi, India, Bano and her cousin and business partner, Nabila Kidwai , created a social enterprise that helps fabric weavers overcome the obstacles of social exploitation and economic inequality.
“I consider myself as a person who wants to bring about social change. On one hand, I have setup an enterprise that has a social goal. However, at the same time Weaver’s Hut is a ‘for profit’ organization,” said Bano. “When we started Weaver’s Hut the economic recession was at its peak, therefore we started with the belief that an organization needs to be financially self-sustainable (generate its own income) to ensure long-term development.”
Weaver’s Hut is achieving success on both fronts.
“Our first investment in Weaver’s Hut was of only 4000 Indian Rupees (about $65 USD). Today we have generated over INR 100,000 (about $1,620 USD). To the weaver families that work with us, on an average they were earning INR 25 ($0.41 USD) per day, which was below the official poverty line (which is INR 27.5 per day). However, now through our support they earn INR 125 ($2.03 USD) per day. We also give the families a part in the profits that we earn from our sales.”
In just two years, Bano has built a profitable, self-sustaining business while helping others prosper and thrive in the process. She credits HP LIFE training for helping her acquire essential business and IT skills to build her social enterprise.
“What I liked about the HP LIFE training was that it was aimed at people like me who had the drive to make to change but didn’t possess the necessary technical skills to run an enterprise,” said Bano. “I would urge all those who are reading this, not to be afraid of treading on an unconventional career path such as social entrepreneurship because at the end what will matter is the satisfaction you derive from your work rather than the money you earn. For me working as social entrepreneur was one of the best decisions I took, it is the kind of job that serves humanity’s most pressing needs.”
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Watch Jake Clemons present Bano with the HPLIFE Entrepreneurship Award at the top of this page.