Women's income increased by 500%

Woman in Ethiopia who was part of our program with CARE.

Women’s income increased by 500% thanks to our program with CARE in Ethiopia. Furthermore, at the end of our program only 3.6% of the target group didn’t have any savings – compared to 70% in the beginning of the project. The program focused women living in the slums of Addis Ababa, and the results after three years show that with the right support, women can significantly improve their lives by becoming entrepreneurs.

Woman in Ethiopia who was part of our program with CARE.

During 2015-2018, five thousand women living in the slums of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia got basic business training and were encouraged to develop their own enterprises as well as setting up and running their own savings and loans associations.


By the end of the project the women stated that they had increased their income by 500%. And while 70% of the target group did not have any savings in the beginning of the project, this number was reduced to 3.6% in 2018. As a result, the women improved the quality of their enterprises, increased their income and, ultimately, were able to take out and repay loans.

The women also expressed how aware they were of not only their own development, and their family’s, but also their mark on the community; how they could make a positive impact in the community that they live in.

It’s such a privilege to be able to catalyze real and lasting change in people’s lives through our partnerships. These results are not only amazing, but they are sustainable and will live on long after we have phased out our support.”

Maria Bystedt, Program Manager at H&M Foundation
One of the women taking part in the project was Enguday Adugna who, despite not having a business idea at the start, was intent on becoming an entrepreneur. This determined woman came up with an innovative idea that was not only a new source of income for her family, but also of huge benefit to the wider community.  Enguday’s social enterprise – making nutritious gruel for local hospital patients – is steadily on the rise.

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Global Program for Equality

Women and girls around the world are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. In all regions, women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work, but are often not allowed to make decisions that affect their own lives. Women from the poorest communities worldwide reveal enormous potential. Despite difficult circumstances, they can successfully change their own – and their family’s – future. Through H&M Foundation’s global program with CARE, almost 270,000 women were supported 2014-2020. The success of the women has been astounding, with their daily enterprise earnings increasing by an average of 91% across all countries.