Hand In Hand 23 November 2023

Celebrating seven years working with KCG to empower women in India and Kenya’s most disadvantaged communities to lift their families out of poverty  

Today we’re marking seven years of partnership with Kewalram Chanrai Group (KCG). A family-owned global business, KCG has paved the way for a more sustainable future for thousands of women by empowering them to adopt new technologies and build profitable enterprises.  

KCG’s journey with Hand in Hand began in 2015 with a programme to empower women through entrepreneurship in India and Kenya. Thanks to KCG’s support, 3,080 small businesses were created, the income from which lifted some 22,350 men, women and children out of poverty. 

Next, KCG helped found the ground-breaking “Power to Empower” programme in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, where over 25% of the population live below the International Poverty Line. Taking advantage of the Indian Government’s plan to connect rural communities to the national grid, the programme trained 4,000 women to grasp the business opportunities presented by rural electrification.  

We are pleased to report the 3,500 businesses supported through “Power to Empower” were able to reduce costs and increase incomes by as much at 50 per cent and, on average, business incomes increased by 37 percent. 

For women like Helmata the impact of both the mechanisation and the enhanced business training has been transformational. As part of the programme, she purchased a motorised pottery wheel and quickly doubled her business income to US $107 per month. What’s more, the motorised wheel significantly reduced the physical demands on Helmata, easing her chronic back pain. 

The programme also encouraged the women to adopt clean, safe and efficient energy appliances in their homes, such as clean cooking stoves to replace dangerous, smoky wood burning stoves and solar powered water pumps so families can access fresh water.

Narain Girdhar Chanrai, CEO of Kewalram Chanrai Group said, “We are especially proud to have been the founding partner of Power to Empower, harnessing the power of electricity for thousands of women today and creating a successful model that will enable many more to embrace energy based micro-entrepreneurship.” 

Thanks to the success and learnings taken from the KCG funded “Power to Empower” project, Hand in Hand has been able to scale-up the project to two further Indian states, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.  This will enable an incredible 20,000 more women in India to create energy-efficient, profitable enterprises, boosting their livelihoods and standard of living.