IKEA builds long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world to break the cycle of poverty and give women in rural communities a brighter future

By empowering women the whole family and village benefits. IKEA is building long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world, to break the cycle of poverty and give women in rural communities a brighter future. The latest result in store is the collection STADIGT, to be launched in selected countries March 2015.

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2015-3-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since 2012 IKEA has been forming partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world. The social entrepreneurs IKEA works with gain access to a global marketplace, giving them a strong foundation for self-sufficiency and independence.

“These partnerships are a new way to make business where everyone wins. The social entrepreneurs gain access to a global marketplace and are able to provide the artisans with a job on their own terms, helping them stay in their village and at the same time provide for their families”, says Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

The two social enterprises Rangsutra and Industree PT in India, use handicraft businesses to reduce poverty and to empower women by making them more financially independent. Many women in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka where Rangsutra and Industree PT operate are employed in vulnerable jobs which lack the protection of labor laws. Having an income gives women, and their children, in rural India new opportunities in life.

“For the most vulnerable members of society, earning an income opens up new opportunities. Women in rural communities often have little or no access to education, healthcare or a paid employment. Forming long-term partnerships with Rangsutra and Industree PT gives women in rural India a chance to independence and a better future”, says Vaishali Misra, Initiative Leader, IKEA of Sweden.

Through Rangsutra, around 600 women work with IKEA productions. Rangsutra gathers hundreds of artisans in small production cooperatives. By creating products using traditional handicraft techniques Rangsutra not only provides jobs but also helps to preserve an important part of the cultural heritage.

“Rangsutra is basically an attempt to generate sustainable livelihoods for rural artisans, building upon traditional skills they already had. By giving regular work, and income, to women they get a say in what the family decides. They also have some more money to spend on healthcare”, says Sumita Ghose, founder and Managing Director of Rangsutra.

About Rangsutra
Rangsutra creates livelihood for 3,500 artisans living in remote regions of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Around 600 women work with IKEA productions through Rangsutra. By creating products using traditional handicraft techniques, for example used in the STADIGT collection, Rangsutra not only provide jobs but helps to preserve an important part of the cultural heritage.

About Industree PT

Industree PT, founded in 1994, supports the livelihoods of thousands of rural producers and agricultural workers primarily in southern India. They work with self-help groups and co-operatives, where women are in majority, to provide an increased and sustainable income for their families. The production facilities are entirely run by the artisans and each employee is a shareholder in the company. The employees also put aside money as a group, and takes votes on how to best in invest them.

About IKEA Group

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog