Multinational Corporations fund Hathay Bunano Proshikshan Society (HBPS), an NGO trying to promote the emploment of women in Bangladesh

While many NGOs in Bangladesh try to generate employment for the poor through microcredit, Hathay Bunano Proshikhan Samity (HBPS) chose to provide direct employment opportunities for poor women in rural areas, with special preference given to disadvantaged groups. Since 2005, the company produces hand-crocheted and hand-knitted children’s toys and clothes. The working model of HBPS is based on a low-cost, labour intensive, electricity-saving, low technology production process and leverages the women’s capabilities. HBPS products are marketed through renowned buyers located in Europe, USA, UK and Australia.

HBPS benefits from the leadership of its founders, a British-Bangladeshi couple, and the financial support of multinational corporations, international development agencies and local NGOs. It relies on local leaders to obtain information about the local workforce and infrastructure, and to raise awareness. The growth of HBPS has been quite phenomenal – employment and revenue almost doubling every year. In 2009, HBPS had 54 centers and 3,500 employees. Beginning with an initial investment of US$500, it is now generating a sales volume of about 120,000 pieces per year, and a profit margin of 42%, which is re-invested into the business for training, marketing, research, and other development purposes. It enjoys a huge market potential as the world market for baby toys is estimated at about US$4 billion a year. In terms of social impact, HBPS offers flexible and stable employment opportunities to poor rural women, thus contributing to their empowerment, improving their quality of life, reducing urban immigration, delaying early marriages and reducing birth rates.

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development; Gender issues

Business sectors