Look at poverty differently and you’ll see grassroots entrepreneurs, full of energy and ideas. Hand in Hand helps turn their skills and potential into jobs. They find a way up and out of poverty.
Hand in Hand was co-founded in 2003 by Percy Barnevik, known for his former business career as Chair of Swiss engineering firm ABB, Swedish construction giant Skanska and UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plc. Barnevik’s mission was to help poor communities – in particular women – to work their own way out of poverty through entrepreneurship training. Since then, we have worked in 14 countries across Africa and Asia, training 2.2 million people to set up businesses and create 3.3 million jobs in their communities, improving the lives 12.26 million people. An average of five family members benefit from every job we grow and create – particularly among women, who comprise over 90 percent of Hand in Hand entrepreneurs. That’s more children in school, more parents with access to lifesaving medicine and more families with sturdy roofs over their heads.
Between 2017 and 2020 Hand in Hand will create more than 750,000 new jobs worldwide, taking us to a cumulative total of 3.7 million. Our target is that each individual entrepreneur is able to raise their family’s income by an average of 30 percent over 30 months, transforming the lives of some 10 million dependents.
The Alquity Transforming Lives Foundation has supported Hand in Hand since May 2015, with a two year project promoting female entrepreneurship in India. By January 2017, Alquity had trained 220 people, helped to set up 220 business and create 387 jobs.
The Foundation renewed its support for Hand in Hand’s work in the country, meaning that by the end of April 2018, Alquity will have supported the training of 1400 in business skills, the creation of 1,046 sustainable businesses and 1,460 jobs, altogether lifting a total of 6,035 women and children out of poverty across the country.
In January 2017, The Alquity Transforming Lives Foundation expanded its partnership with Hand in Hand into Kenya, with a project helping people living in poverty in Laikipia County to thrive as eco-entrepreneurs. Located in Central Kenya, 80% of residents in Laikipia County live in rural areas, with roughly half struggling to support their families on less than $13 a week. Farmers’ crops are often damaged by floods and droughts, meaning incomes are irregular and unstable.
Adapting upon the standard Hand in Hand job creation model, this project includes training on climate resilience, where entrepreneurs learn about climate change and its implications for businesses and households. They are then trained in adaptation methods, such as farming organically, crop diversification, irrigation, grazing planning and rainwater management. They will be encouraged to start eco-enterprises, such as water purification businesses, upcycling, or charcoal briquette making businesses.
By July 2019, the project will have trained 240 people, established 170 businesses, created 220 jobs and improved the lives of 845 people in Laikipia County.
Nancy is a 28-year-old mother of three living in Liakipia county, Kenya.
Nancy was one of the first women to sign up to Alquity’s project and is now a proud member of ‘Mutamaiyo Women’s Group’.
When asked about her training so far, Nancy tells us: “With Catherine’s help [the business trainer], I have been able to save around 27 Kenyan Shillings a week (20p). I’ve also borrowed some money from the group’s savings fund to rent a shop where I sell some fruits and vegetables that I grow in my shamba [garden].”
“I’m already earning a daily income of around KES 328 (£2.40) and I mostly spend it on sending my two daughter’s to school”.
“Before Hand in Hand my life was uncertain. I didn’t know whether I would have a meal for my kids every day and I relied on casual work which was not guaranteed. Now I have big plans for the future – I want to expand my business and I want my kids to enjoy school without being sent home because I haven’t been able to pay their school fees. Thank you Alquity for your help.”