WOMEN IN PROGRESS INC

Rating: 4.67 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, International, Philanthropy, Microfinance

Location: P.O. Box 18323 Minneapolis MN 55418 USA

Mission: Women in Progress, a non-profit organization, envisions women in Africa to be economically independent. Our purpose is to reduce the economic inequality of women by helping to significantly increase the revenues and profits of women-owned businesses. This in turn increases wages, generates new jobs and improves the standard of living for women, their families, and the larger community. We believe that helping women gain economic independence is the most effective way to reduce dependence on foreign aid and steadily create a prosperous society.
Programs: Women in Progress (WIP) helps small women-owned businesses in Africa to access global markets and manage their growing businesses. WIP enables the economic independence of these women by promoting their traditional skills in producing handmade products under the brand name Global Mamas. WIP also provides members with personalized, hands-on business assistance and computer training to strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs to better manage their growing enterprises.In 2003 WIP launched the Global Mamas Cooperative with six women-owned businesses. Today the Global Mamas Cooperative is comprised of 24 individually-owned businesses working together to penetrate larger markets while maintaining their independence. The women are provided fair and deserved wages for their high-quality work. Sales of Global Mamas' products provide dignity to African women who are now able to earn an honest living. WIP provides the Global Mamas Cooperative with financial and management support, including:* Coordination of the production for over 50 products in hundreds of designs for over 50 customers in the US and Ghana* Upfront payments for the production of high quality goods* Sourcing of raw materials in bulk through a Raw Materials Revolving Inventory Fund resulting in reduced costs and increased product quality* Management of quality control* Practical assistance with new product development, strategic planning, bookkeeping, and marketing
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I visited their facilities during a school trip to Ghana. Back home in the US I study economics and sustainability, meanwhile as a fair trade activist. I love what they are doing! They are an exemplary model of a fair trade cooperative. The producers seem to love what they do, and the products are gorgeous!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The producers described how their lives have improved: they've been able to send their children to school, build their house, buy nutritious food, and more.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would the suggest that they mobilize more resources into outreach in the US. Perhaps when they are able, they could have commercial time or advertisements in large newspapers like the New York Times. Sponsors could help with this.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their kind and caring staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Super friendly and experienced.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Increase advertising, expand to different countries, expand operations in Ghana to the food market, change the lives of so many more women and families, be the leader in fair trade clothing in the world.

Ways to make it better...

I got to tour the batik workshops! But we had limited time.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

having enough money to scale up to other communities, the difficulty it is to reach American consumers outside of specialty fair trade shops.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Global Mamas was my favorite part of my trip to Ghana!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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