Together with Women on Wings, a Dutch social enterprise, C&A and C&A Foundation have embarked on a project focused on improving working conditions, skills and knowledge for local people and communities.
The partnership focuses on sharing business knowledge to significantly contribute to the employment opportunities for entrepreneurs in India, an important C&A supplier country.
“In many of the countries that produce C&A apparel, such as India, small businesses and communities face intense economic, environmental and social challenges. The partnership with Women on Wings follows offers us the opportunity to share business knowledge for a significant contribution in India," says Catherine Louies, Sustainable Business Development C&A Europe.
The joint cooperation includes activities carried out by C&A employee volunteers at companies that mainly employ women in rural India. The aim is to to mentor and coach entrepreneurs in the production and export of garments, apparel and fashion accessories to new markets so as to increase the companies' turnover and thus create new jobs and income for women.
In January 2015, the first group of C&A volunteers travelled to India to consult Jharcraft, a social enterprise and textile company, on how to induce markets for its products. The volunteers conducted a workshop with business partners and in-depth sessions with the company's senior management.
“We want to enable more women to improve their livelihoods. Economic independence for women means more children can go to school, more meals per day for their families and communities, and an overall better standard of living for them and future generations," says IIan Vuddamalay of C&A Foundation.
The Dutch social enterprise Women on Wings, founded in 2007 by Ellen Tacoma and Maria van der Heijden, supports social companies to raise the employment of Indian women. Their overarching goal of Women on Wings is to create 1 million jobs for women in India.
“Jobs in rural India are few and poverty levels are high. Therefore, we develop business opportunities with and provide knowledge and expertise to our Indian business partners – companies that create employment for women in rural areas. The partnership with C&A Foundation and C&A will help to propel us forward to our goal," says Ellen Tacoma, managing cofounder of Women on Wings.
Click here for more information on Women on Wings.
Click here to download the full press release on the partnership.
“Economic independence for women means more children can go to school, more meals per day for their families and communities, and an overall better standard of living for them and future generations.”Program Manager, C&A Foundation Ilan Vuddamalay