The SHE 4 Change Creative Hub empowers marginalized rural seamstresses in Ghana to become financially stable by providing them with resources such as safe co-sewing spaces furnished with equipment and sewing supplies, training, and market access for the clothing they sew. Through this program, we aim to empower at least 5000 women and reduce poverty by 20% in the next decade. Our ultimate goal is to address gender inequality, poverty, and unemployment while building the financial independence of marginalized women.
According to Ghana Statistical Service’s Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020, 14 million Ghanaians are multidimensionally poor, with rural areas being twice as affected as urban areas. Gender inequities persist in Ghana, where women face challenges in achieving financial stability, finding employment opportunities, and accessing necessary resources to start businesses. Only 47% of women participate in the formal labor force, and rural women face extreme poverty and limited education and employment opportunities. Even when possessing employable skills like sewing, rural women lack the resources to monetize their products in the market.
A research conducted by our team showed that over 80% of the seamstresses we interviewed still struggle to make ends meet from their sewing skills due to the following ;
- Lack of access to quality equipment
- Unsafe and harsh working conditions and environment.
- Limited access to a paying market
- Low income and delayed payments, or customers refusing to pay for their service. Hence, The women have to survive on $1.3 daily which is way below the daily $2.5 Ghana poverty line.
Our Approach & Solution:
Based on extensive research, interviews, and observations, we have developed the SHE 4 Change Creative Hub with the seamstresses (beneficiaries) as a solution to the challenges faced by these rural seamstresses in Ghana. The SHE 4 Change Creative Hub is a transformative initiative aimed at empowering marginalized rural seamstresses in Ghana to become financially stable and independent. By providing resources such as safe co-sewing spaces furnished with equipment and sewing supplies, training, and market access for the clothing they sew, we seek to uplift and support these talented women.
The Hub provides a comprehensive range of resources and support to enable seamstresses to overcome obstacles and achieve financial independence. With a focus on safety, efficiency, and skill development, the Creative Hub empowers seamstresses to enhance their craft, expand their business opportunities, and improve their livelihoods.
Key Components of the Creative Hub:
1. Safe and Decent Co-Sewing Space:
The Creative Hub provides a safe and decent co-sewing space where seamstresses can work collaboratively and independently. The space is designed to address the unique challenges faced by seamstresses with young children, offering an on-site kids’ play area. Each seamstress is provided with a dedicated workstation equipped with quality sewing equipment, including industrial sewing machines, embroidery machines, overlock machines, and button machines. The co-sewing space also features a cutting table, ironing stations, and storage space for fabrics and materials. By offering a supportive and professional environment, the Creative Hub fosters collaboration, resource sharing, and networking among seamstresses, enhancing their productivity and creativity.
2. Skills Training and Capacity Building:
To enhance the seamstresses’ skills and marketability, the Creative Hub offers comprehensive training programs tailored to their specific needs. Seamstresses receive up to two months of upskilling training facilitated by experienced fashion design professors. The training covers various aspects of the fashion industry, including sewing techniques, pattern-making, fabric selection, product design, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Additionally, seamstresses are trained on sustainable and ethical fashion practices, promoting zero waste and environmentally conscious production. By equipping seamstresses with diverse skills, the Creative Hub empowers them to create high-quality garments that appeal to local and international markets.
3. Modern Sewing Equipment and Supplies:
The Creative Hub ensures that seamstresses have access to modern sewing equipment and supplies to enhance the quality and efficiency of their work. Industrial sewing machines, embroidery machines, sergers, cutting tools, high-quality thread, and fabrics are provided to enable seamstresses to produce professional-grade clothing. By upgrading their equipment, seamstresses can increase their productivity, create higher-quality products, and meet the demands of a wider market. This investment not only improves their craftsmanship but also reduces physical strain and injuries associated with outdated equipment.
4. Access to Local and International Markets:
To expand the market reach for seamstresses, the Creative Hub establishes partnerships with local and international buyers, retailers, and wholesalers. Through networking, trade shows, and digital marketing channels, we connect seamstresses with opportunities to showcase and sell their products. Online platforms, including a dedicated e-commerce store and collaborations with existing platforms, enable seamstresses to reach a global customer base. By providing access to local and international markets, the Creative Hub opens doors for seamstresses to increase sales revenue, establish sustainable businesses, and achieve financial independence.