Together with humanitarian organization CARE, the H&M Foundation is investing in women’s economic empowerment – equipping women with the seed capital and skills training they need to start up or expand their own business.


Imagine if…

… you are a woman living in a developing country with little or no industry, where private sector jobs are extraordinarily rare. You have no assets. No bank will give you credit because you are too poor and you can neither read nor write because you never went to school. How can you feed your family?

60 percent of the world's working poor are women. Globally women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work, and their total work hours are longer than men’s in all regions of the world. Women around the world face severe discrimination that prevent them from realising their potential in life. Women have less access to education, to financial services and resources such as banks, to technical and vocational skills training and limited rights to own and inherit property. Frequently women face much more barriers, cultural or structural, than men in most aspects of life.

Experience and studies show that when women are given equal rights, and these rights are being respected, this benefits the whole society, both when it comes to health, economic growth and children’s wellbeing.  Economic empowerment minimises women’s dependency, improves the abilities for her children to get a better start in life and strengthens women’s position in society in general. So empowering women in a lasting, sustainable way, will benefit themselves and many people around them, and is as such a catalyst for positive change.

The program

This Global Program is investing in actions that strengthen women in developing countries to transform their futures. It aims to focus on empowering women economically and to inspire and offer advice on policy changes needed worldwide to allow women’s full participation in all walks of life.

Our ambition is to break down the myths and beliefs about what a woman can and cannot do, and to transform systems that prevent women and girls to fulfil their potential and realizing their dreams. By working on many levels - local, regional and global – we want to bring about lasting change in the lives of many women and girls, their communities and the world. In the program, women from poor communities can apply for a grant through the new “Lasting Change Fund” towards the start-up of small enterprises or to expand and improve their enterprise. Basic skills training will be offered in areas such as self-esteem, basic cost price calculation, marketing, negotiation and sales.

Campaigns, platforms or events will be organised in five global regions that lift up the examples of women who will share their experience about how they overcame the barriers that exists in society. Their experiences and success stories aim to inspire others. These experiences as well as examples from the” Lasting Change Fund” will form the basis of a global report that will include advice on policy changes needed worldwide to allow women’s full participation in all walks of life.

Our Goals by 2017

100 000 women in poor communities get access to tools, knowledge, skills and/or seed capital to start up or to expand their enterprise in order to empower them economically.

5 regional campaigns with powerful and positive role models will raise awareness regarding the barriers for women to fully participate in society and showcase positive stories of how to overcome them.

1 Global Report will be developed advocating for policy changes needed to allow more women to reach their full potential and exercise their rights.


Our Global Partners

Investing in children´s early education and development - for the best start in life!

Investing in clean water and sanitation in schools – to offer children a better future!

Investing in women’s economic empowerment – a catalyst for positive change!

Our Local Projects

Read about our Local Projects in various countries.

Want to know more


Please contact one of our Project Managers


Maria Bystedt

Charlotte Brunnström


Tel: +46  8 796 55 00

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