We’ve had an incredible quarter full of learnings and trips to the field, implementing a host of programs as part of Mission Creative Million. We’re excited to tell you about our new impact insights, the entrepreneurial women we’ve been working with in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and Industree’s international advocacy, including co-founder Neelam Chhiber’s participation in an event organised with The British Asian Trust and the upcoming Business Fights Poverty conference.
Sangeeta, a bright 27-year-old who supports her family through tailoring work in Tamil Nadu.  We met her on a scoping visit to determine financial literacy needs in the area. There's more about Sangeeta's story on our blog.

Industree: In the field

Our team has been working with local partners in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as we bring women artisans onboard Mission Creative Million!

Embroidery training: Karnataka

Our Karnataka pilot has begun with support from the UNDP, the National Skills Development Corporation, Karnataka State Skills Mission, Social Venture Partners and the British Asian Trust.  Training of the first group of embroiderers concluded last week in Sabbanahalli, Mandya. Over the next month, they will do on-the-job training before they start full-time production.  By the end of the quarter, we will have trained close to 6 groups of artisans who would be able to take up full-time production.

Mervin of Industree Foundation provided soft skills training to women in Karnataka

Financial literacy: Tamil Nadu

The projects in Tamil Nadu focused on building the financial capabilities of artisans have gotten off to a great start, with training of trainers conducted earlier this month in Trichy. The training they prepared for included basic financial literacy, savings and budgeting, as well as how to use ATMs and app-based technology for financial transactions.  We got a lot of positive feedback from the participants who emphasized the need for such training.

Scoping visits: Odisha

Industree’s teams conducted a wide variety of scoping activities in Odisha, including studying the existing handloom value chain in and around Koraput, Kotpad, and Bhanasuli and understanding how market access can be facilitated for tribal communities creating eco-friendly products from Sialy leaves collected in the forest.

Industree's teams met women collecting Sialy leaf in the forests of Odisha this May

Connected platforms:

Industree is working closely with technology partners Mindtree and Sonata Software in developing the connected components of Mission Creative Million and getting the tech platforms up and running. Mindtree is developing a suite of apps designed to increase value chain transparency, which we will start testing in the field this month. We expect that a beta version of Hasti, the e-commerce platform developed with Sonata Software, will be live before the end of the next quarter.

International Advocacy

Over the last few months, Industree co-founder Neelam Chhiber has traveled around the world advocating for an innovative producer-owned approach to creative manufacturing, raising awareness around the challenges and solutions in the sector at the SheTrades conference organised by the International Trade Centre in Kigali, Rwanda and Textiles India 2017 in Ahmedabad, India.

At the recent Innovating for Change conference organised by Abha Thorat-Shah, Director of the British Asian Trust and Alisha Miranda, founder of the Not My Style app, Neelam discussed the necessity of working closely with retailers to develop best practices in the for-profit apparel industry, taking into account the rights of women creative producers and consumers’ increasing interest in ethical supply chains.

This week, Neelam will speak about innovations in SME financing at the Business Fights Poverty conference in Oxford, UK.  You can register to watch the livestream here.

The Business Fights Poverty conference is on July 10-11.  Neelam will be speaking on the 11th; you can find the schedule here.

Industree's Impact

If you’ve been following us on social media
, you’ll know that we’ve been doing in-depth impact interviews with women at 2 producer-owned companies incubated by Industree. We’ve found some remarkable indicators of the impact this work has had on their lives.  Here are a few key findings from these interviews:

In the next few months we’ll start collecting information from producers in Karnataka, and in our next newsletter we’ll share the results!


Partner Meet: Mission Creative Million

On June 23rd, Industree hosted a partner meet at our offices in Bangalore to discuss building a more robust movement around creative producers’ livelihoods.  Among other points, we addressed the question of scale, asking ourselves, “Why build a movement for a million artisans; why not aim to impact millions?”

Thanks for reading our second Quarterly Newsletter! For real-time updates, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (links below). Don’t forget we also have a blog where we share stories from the field!

  The Industree Team
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