Success of H&M Holiday Campaign Enables Women in Ethiopia to Start Businesses

Success of H&M Holiday Campaign Enables Women in Ethiopia to Start Businesses

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The global poverty-fighting organization CARE today received a contribution of $2.4 million as a result of a Holiday Campaign in H&M stores worldwide. “We are very grateful for this generous contribution,” said Dr. Robert Glasser, secretary general of CARE International. “These funds will allow us to empower women entrepreneurs and workers from low-income urban communities in Ethiopia and help us raise global awareness of the enormous benefits associated with empowering women and girls in the fight against poverty and social injustice.”

H&M Holiday Campaign

CARE was selected as the beneficiary of H&M’s 2014 Holiday Campaign. For every set of holiday gift labels sold in stores worldwide, the H&M Conscious Foundation made a contribution to CARE. With the help from H&M customers the total funds raised came to $2.4 million.

“We are grateful for the engagement from H&M customers in this important cause,” says Helena Thybell, H&M Conscious Foundation global manager. “Strengthening Women is one of the Foundation’s three focus areas, chosen by H&M customers through an online voting in 2013. We see our contribution as an investment for the future. By supporting women to help themselves out of poverty we see that we can achieve a long-lasting change for entire communities.”

Ethiopia project

The funds raised will support CARE’s innovative work on women’s economic empowerment in Ethiopia, where one-third of the population lives in poverty. In the capital, Addis Ababa, almost 40 percent of households are headed by women, and more than 70 percent of these households are considered poor. With the contribution from the H&M Conscious Foundation, CARE will continue investing in women from low-income poor communities to develop business opportunities that generate income, create a more equal balance of power in the home and enhance self-esteem. This includes women-owned enterprises that deliver support services such as child care and catering. These services will enable other women to start their own enterprises while still assuming family responsibilities, thus creating a positive and growing cycle of change where women help empower other women. The project will start in February 2015 and run through January 2018.

Entrepreneurship key to empower women

“We are really excited about this innovative project in which women entrepreneurs will help other women,” Dr. Glasser explained. “Entrepreneurship is a vital ingredient to fight poverty, and supporting women entrepreneurs is particularly effective because women play a disproportionately important role in lifting their families and their wider communities out of poverty. We care deeply about this project because it will bring about profound changes in the lives of so many poor and marginalized women.”

About CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 87 countries around the world and reached more than 97 million people through 927 poverty-fighting programs to improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunities, confront climate change and recover from disasters.

About H&M Conscious Foundation

The H&M Conscious Foundation is an independent non-profit global foundation, initiated by H&M. The mission of the Foundation is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with experienced organizations around the globe, the Foundation drives change within three focus areas chosen by H&M employees and customers: Education, Clean Water and Strengthening Women. To further improve living conditions the Foundation also supports innovative ideas that contribute to safeguarding the earth’s natural resources. In case of natural disasters in countries where H&M operates, the H&M Conscious Foundation can provide emergency relief. Today, the Foundation is funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. For further information, visit

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