Hand in Hand creates 3 millionth job

Fourteen years ago, Percy Barnevik and Dr Kalpana Sankar joined forces to expand a small charity in southern India that provided free schooling to children working in the local silk trade. It was called Hand in Hand.

They soon realised the real problem wasn’t a lack of schools; it was the desperation that forced parents to send their children to the factories in the first place. “We had to attack the root cause of the problem: poverty,” says Barnevik.

Fast-forward to today and that’s exactly what Hand in Hand has done, fighting poverty with business and skills training from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and in eight countries in between. Today, we’re proud to announce a major milestone in our story: the creation of Hand in Hand’s 3 millionth job.

“Even when they’re undernourished, downtrodden and illiterate, Hand in Hand’s entrepreneurs have an enormous will,” says Barnevik, now Hand in Hand’s honorary chair. “When they get a chance they’re not letting it go by. These women can move mountains.”

Here’s to fourteen more years, millions more jobs and more moved mountains.

Hand in Hand International CEO speaks at Global Parliamentary Conference

By Jessica Schneider

Washington, DC — Hand in Hand CEO Josefine Lindänge hosted a workshop this week at the Global Parliamentary Conference, the second annual meeting of MPs from more than 100 countries held ahead of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings.

Titled ‘Educating for the right job – building human capital’, the workshop spanned subjects including different approaches to job creation, the importance of the informal sector and strategies for thinking differently about jobs growth in both the developed and developing world. It was co-hosted by Barry Gardiner MP (UK) and Olfa Soukri Cherif MP (Tunisia).

“Hand in Hand has a model that works. We need to share it as widely as possible,” said Lindänge after the conference. “Explaining our work to a room full of MPs – people in a position to make a real difference – couldn’t be more important, particularly as Hand in Hand continues to grow and search for new partners. Judging by MPs’ reactions, there’s a real appetite for our message.”

The three-day conference featured Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, as keynote speakers. Sustainable job creation and women’s empowerment – Hand in Hand’s key areas of expertise – were recurring themes.

“We need to focus on women, education and jobs,” said Kim.

Stephen O’Brien, UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, agreed. “We need to make sure that aid is for the long term, and not just immediate needs…especially for women,” he said.

Hand in Hand also featured in a ‘Youth Job Creation Policy Primer’ produced by Peace Child International and conference organisers The Parliamentary Network. The primer was distributed to the conference’s 250-odd MP guests by Parliamentary Network Chair Jeremy Lefroy MP (UK).

Hand in Hand sets up shop in the US

Friends of Hand In Hand International opens for business

Hand in Hand is crossing the pond.

Based in Boston, new fundraising office Friends of Hand in Hand International allows US-based donors to give tax-deductible donations to Hand in Hand for the very first time.

“Whether by building new partnerships or expanding into new territories, Hand in Hand is growing, and mobilising more funds is a must,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Josefine Lindänge. “Establishing ourselves in the US is a major step in that direction.”

Beatrice Wanjiku, a yogurt maker from Nairobi, Kenya, pouring her yogurt into glasses

Beatrice Wanjiku | Yogurt maker | Nairobi, Kenya

The non-profit organisation has an experienced management team, backed by a strong and accomplished board. Members include:

Bruce Grant, Chair of Hand in Hand International. Grant founded, owns and leads a group of companies including the consultancy firm Applied Value LLC, which advises global Fortune 500 companies on turnarounds in North America, Europe and China. Earlier in his career he worked within the Kinnevik Group, holding the post of Chairman of Tele2. He has been engaged in philanthropy for the past 20 years.

Dorothea Arndt, Co-CEO (interim) and Head of Communications and Corporate Partnerships at Hand in Hand International, has more than 15 years’ experience managing communications at six international organisations, including Shell and PwC. She was one of the first UK team members of Kelkoo, an e-commerce start-up ultimately acquired by Yahoo! for US $500 million. She left the commercial sector to lead the digital team at the British Red Cross, where she formulated the organisation’s first digital strategy, before joining venture philanthropy organisation ARK.

Contact Friends of Hand in Hand International