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PROFITS AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ARE NOT CONFLICTING GOALS

Stable employment, under humane conditions, for workers at the lowest levels of the global value chain can significantly improve their social, psychological and economic empowerment. Moreover, the costs to providing such working conditions can be nominal and not detract from a mission of also producing long run profitability. The reports below offer a few examples of how these practices might be instantiated and the metrics used to monitor social, psychological and financial well being.

Relevant Papers

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Megan Lang., Edward Soule, & Catherine H. Tinsley (forthcoming). Psychology, Skills or Cash? Evidence from Women's Workshops in Rwanda. Economic Development and Cultural Change SSRN (2022)

Kate Spade

The 150 women artisans in Masoro are employees of Abahizi Dushygikirane Corporation or ADC, the supplier of Kate Spade & Company’s on purpose label. ADC is Rwanda’s premiere handbag manufacturing partner providing high-quality products to the global fashion industry with a social commitment to empower its employees and transform its community.

Professors Edward Soule, Catherine Tinsley, and Pietra Rivoli at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business conducted a 23-month study of on purpose and:

  • Monitored this “social enterprise supplier model”

  • Evaluated whether ADC’s employment experience provided vital resources

  • Assessed how artisans flourished economically, socially, and psychologically

Learn more about Georgetown’s involvement in the project here and the latest press release from Georgetown here. For press inquiries, please contact Molly Fleenor at 202-687-5254 or molly.fleenor@georgetown.edu.

Women Artisans Flourished Economically, Socially, and Psychologically

The May 2017 report, A Social Enterprise Link in the Fashion Industry Value Chain Performance and Potential of a New Supplier Model outlines the following:

  • Documents Kate Spade & Company’s on purpose initiative and all facets of ADC;

  • Measures and evaluates the impacts of the ADC employment experience on the lives of the company’s female employees; and

  • Assesses ADC’s business model and competitive prospects

Abahizi Dushyigikirane means “Together, we accomplish more” in Kinyarwandan

Artisans also claim to have higher levels of physical health, social standing, power, and confidence; and lower levels of anxiety.

While it is premature to draw any significant conclusions regarding ADC’s long-term financial sustainability, the study concludes that ADC has the rudimentary elements of a sustainable business and has a realistic prospect of achieving its commercial purpose, which is to prosper as a supplier to multiple fashion brands.

Celebrating Two Years of the Kate Spade & Company’s on purpose Label

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