Create Stable Jobs for Silk Weavers in Bihar
Through its LiftUP Project , Upaya Social Ventures is working with a Bhagalpur, Bihar-based startup that trains marginalized Tasar silk weavers on new skills, techniques, equipment, and designs. Most of the weavers the company employs qualify as ultra poor - generally living under $1.25 a day at the time of their hire - with the majority belonging to lower castes or minority communities. On average, employees will be able to double their average daily income almost immediately, an advancement that Upaya has seen have a dramatic impact on a family’s ability to meet its most basic needs. By contributing to this project, you are supporting Upaya’s ability to provide both the startup capital to launch the business and the management support to ensure that it is creating new jobs where they are needed most.
$250 is all it costs to create a job, and that job can create as much as $10,000 in additional income in the coming years. Better yet, the first $10,000 contributed to any Upaya project listed on jolkona.org before Dec. 31, 2012 will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to a generous contribution from the Skees Family Foundation.
Life in Ultra Poverty
As the 1.4 billion people globally living on less than $1.25 a day, the ultra poor lead lives that are marked by highly variable and volatile circumstances in which they struggle daily to find stable shelter, basic amenities, treatment for poor health, and adequate food and water. For the ultra poor, irregular income is the single largest hurdle to creating positive change in their lives.
For families already struggling to meet their basic needs, a stable job represents a pathway out of a harrowing existence and allows them to make investments in their futures. Knowing where tomorrow's meals will come from, ultra poor households can make investments in shelter, treatment for long-term health problems, education, and emergency savings to protect against future shocks.
The Challenge in Bihar
Bhagalpur, Bihar is known for being the traditional home for weaving Tasar silk products, and as many as 100,000 families are in someway involved in its production. However, while it is an increasingly popular material in household decorations as well as men’s and women’s clothing, Tasar silk weaving in the Bhagalpur area remains very unstructured.
The majority of people weaving Tasar silk - more than half of whom live on less than $1.25 a day - do so as a secondary occupation as the linkages to tools, materials, training, and markets are not in place for weaving to be a primary livelihood for a significant number of people. Furthermore, because of the lack of opportunities to earn a living, the Bhagalpur area has seen significant flows of weavers and other artisans migrating to urban areas in search of work.
About Upaya Social Ventures
Partner since June, 2011
Upaya Social Ventures builds businesses that will create jobs and improve the quality of life for households living on less than $1.25 a day. Upaya’s flagship program, the Life-changing Interventions for the Ultra Poor (LiftUP) Project, is a 24-36 month accelerator program that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with technical assistance and financial resources to launch and scale their businesses in a way that creates dignified employment opportunities for the “ultra poor.” With a presence in both India and the U.S., the Upaya team has over 20 years of experience in developing effective interventions for the world’s poorest populations. Upaya Social Ventures is a fiscally sponsored project of the Jolkona Foundation. Upaya does not have its own 501(c)(3) status and Jolkona Foundation retains full discretion and control over donated funds. For more information, please visit the Fiscal Sponsorship page listed below.
For more information, please visit www.upayasv.com.