Our work in India
Hand in Hand India is our oldest and biggest operation. It was here, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, that Hand in Hand co-founders Percy Barnevik and Dr Kalpana Sankar first met in 2004; that Hand in Hand’s job creation model was created, tested and refined – then exported across the world.
All these years later, Hand in Hand India remains a source of innovation and expertise, helping 300,000 women climb the ladder from subsistence to success every year.
Members trained: 2.72 million
100% of Self-Help Group members are women
Businesses launched: 2.87 million
Hand in Hand India entrepreneurs farm crops, manufacture and retail goods, supply green energy and more
Jobs created: 4.77 million
Jobs equal development. Our entrepreneurs make their own success, breaking the cycle of dependency*
Lives improved: 16.57 million
Every business we help create in India benefits an average of five family members – young, old and everywhere in between
*134,531 seasonal jobs are included in the total figure
The situation for women
It’s not a coincidence that Hand in Hand started in India. Between cultural barriers and sectoral segregation, opportunities for women in the world’s largest democracy are so scarce the country ranks 149 of 153 on the World Economic Forum’s ranking for women’s economic participation – and things are getting worse by the year.
24 percent of working-age women are currently in work compared to 80 percent of men – a gap that’s expanding, not shrinking
91% of unpaid labour is done by women
Women working as casual labourers in rural India earn 31 percent less than men – for the same work
34% of women are illiterate
Meet our entrepreneurs
Your donation at work
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“Jobs supported by Hand in Hand India are long-lasting: more than 97% are sustained three years on from Hand in Hand’s initial support.”
Hand in Hand India works in seven states countrywide, with plans to expand into more. Partnership programmes are under way in Cambodia and Myanmar.
Meet Hand in Hand Co-founder Dr Kalpana Sankar
Dr Sankar co-founded Hand in Hand in 2004. Today she’s the Chair and Managing Trustee of Hand in Hand India, and a global authority on fighting poverty with grassroots entrepreneurship.