We believe Business can play an important role in eradicating poverty. Governments, charities and NGOs have their role to play, but what is also needed is quality training and innovative business ideas that generate employment and are matched to the needs and requirements of the people on the ground. Initiatives that are profit-based with sound business strategies, but which at their core are motivated by a desire to build up a nation and its people.
As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, since 2009 we have been putting our business experience, process skills and resources into developing innovative business solutions to poverty that are matched to the needs of people on the ground. Our focus has been in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where we first worked on developing training methods for a micro-credit lender that engaged the bottom tier of society. We then moved to developing business solutions.
Since September 2010 we have partnered to develop an innovative business that combines a vocational training school with a workwear garment manufacturing facility into a single tightly-knit business unit. The vocational training school takes mainly young women from very poor backgrounds, many of whom have never been to school, and provides them with quality vocational training. At the same time it helps them to discover who they are and develop both strong self-worth and a vision for their lives.
Our graduates then go on to work in our garment factory using innovative approaches to production and work cell manufacturing that puts them in charge of much of the manufacturing process. Our micro-franchised Fashion & Tailoring Shops will provide further outlets for our graduates with an innovative retail format that again puts them in charge of their own destiny, backed up by the systems and support of the main business.