Reducing Poverty by Employing Young Women: Hathay Bunano’s Scalable Model for Rural Production in Bangladesh
Hathay Bunano (‘hand-made’ in Bangla) produces hand-knitted children’s toys under our own brand, Pebble, and for international private-label clients around the world. Using an innovative and much-needed model of rural production, we have taken the less skilled and time-consuming production tasks to the villages, creating jobs for thousands of young women whose economic opportunities are quite limited. For these young women, Hathay Bunano offers an alternative to moving to the city to work long hours in unsafe garment factories and spending most of their income on rent and food in unsanitary slums. Instead, given our 64 low-overhead rural production centers, these women can work within walking distance of their homes with highly flexible working hours that accommodate the cycles of the agricultural seasons and other family responsibilities. Hathay Bunano employs over 6,500 women in well-paid, and relatively high-quality jobs in rural areas, helping reduce poverty in a country where 40% of our 160 million people live on less than $1 a day.