Hand in Hand International

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Hand in Hand International
Founded 2006
Type Non-governmental organization
Focus Job and business creation, Reduce Poverty, Economic and Social Empowerment, Women
Area served India, Afghanistan, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and Myanmar
Key people Percy Barnevik and Dr Kalapana Sankar, founders
Website www.hihinternational.org

Hand in Hand International is a registered non-profit organisation based in London since 2006.[1][2] Hand in Hand International is part of the Hand in Hand network, whose shared vision is to fight poverty through job and business creation. Hand in Hand was founded by Percy Barnevik[3][4] and Dr Kalpana Sankar.[5][6]

Hand in Hand’s mission is to work for economic and social empowerment of the poorest and most marginalized people by supporting the development of businesses and jobs.[7][8] Since 2003, the Hand in Hand network has helped start and sustain 1 million businesses and has generated 1.6 million jobs.[9][10][11] Hand in Hand's goal is to create 10 million jobs by 2020.[12][13]

Hand in Hand works within the same field as BRAC, Opportunity International, CARE, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Aga Khan Foundation


Hand in Hand was founded in 2003 by Percy Barnevik[14][15] and Dr Kalpana Sankar,[16][17] in the south-east Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[18] The Hand in Hand group currently operates programs in ten countries across Asia (Afghanistan, India, Cambodia and Myanmar), East of Africa (Kenya and Rwanda) and South of Africa (Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe).

Hand in Hand receives funding from a number of different sources including individuals, corporations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions and trusts and foundations. Recent supporters include the FMO, Sida, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust, Nationale Postcode Loterij and Voxtra (philanthropic foundation based in Oslo, Norway).

In 2007, Hand in Hand Afghanistan was set up with Seema Ghani as chair.[19] On the 19th of February 2014, Ghani gave an interview with the BBC about the economic challenges facing Afghanistan and how job creation, will help solve many of the challenges.[20]

Since 2011, Hand in Hand has organised an annual Social Enterprise Program (SEP).[21] This course showcases the role of social entrepreneurs in reducing poverty.

As of 2013, Hand in Hand International's board of trustees is composed of Percy Barnevik, Eric Drewery, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Björn Fröling, Bruce Grant, Jonas af Jochnick, Dr Rita Rakus MBBS, Lars G Josefsson, Lars G Josefsson and Paola Uggla.[22]

In 2013, Hand in Hand launched the Enterprise Incubation Fund (EIF), through which philanthropists can provide loans to micro-entrepreneurs in Kenya.[23]

Hand in Hand Network[edit]

The organizations within the Hand in Hand group actively support each other, although they are independent and each organization has its own governance and management structure as well as strategic plan. Each organization is represented by its CEO on the HIH Global Council. The Global Council coordinates policy and activities across the Hand in Hand network.

Today, the Hand in Hand network extends to:

The network has support and fundraising offices in London, Stokholm[31] and Brussels and plans to open offices in the US and Canada.

Job Creation Model[edit]

The Hand in Hand network uses a comprehensive business creation model, initially developed by HiH India,[32] to fight poverty.[33][34] There are four interlinked elements that deliver the Hand in Hand approach:

  1. Social mobilization: Hand in Hand helps organize people, mostly women, into Self-Help Groups (SHGs), who meet weekly with their trainers to discuss social issues and activities and together they begin to save money, learn financial discipline and build up a group savings fund for which they are jointly responsible.[35]
  2. Business training: Once a group has demonstrated stability and financial responsibility, Hand in Hand provides business training in how to start, grow and sustain a small business enterprise and become an entrepreneur.
  3. Credit access: Most groups hold joint savings in local savings accounts and learn how to manage these. Should financial resources be required beyond group members’ own savings, members would be trained in credit management and offered small loans, either directly or through partners active in their area.
  4. Market linkage support: Hand in Hand provides support in improving productivity and competitiveness, including advice on better packaging, pricing and branding; cheaper sourcing of supplies; quality control; reliable delivery; and more effective identification of buyers and negotiations with them.


As of 2013, Hand in Hand is supporting almost as many new family businesses as are being registered in the entire formal private sector of the countries that the organisation works in.[36] In most countries in which the network operates, Hand in Hand has achievable sizeable reach with its self-help groups,in comparison to other established NGOs.[37]

The April–September 2013 Hand in Hand Network Progress Report concludes Hand in Hand India created 1.4 million jobs for some of its poorest population.[11]


  1. ^ "Who we are". Hand in Hand International website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  2. ^ International, Hand in Hand. "Hand in Hand India Progress". Hand in Hand International. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Percy N. Barnevik". Partnership For Change website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  4. ^ "Maximum Impact". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  5. ^ "Founders". Hand in Hand International website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  6. ^ "Corporate Titan Percy Barnevik's $50 Million Bet On Poverty Reduction". Forbes. 
  7. ^ "Hand in Hand- Profile of CMF's Partner Organisation". Development Outlook. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  8. ^ a b Hand in Hand EA, Hand in Hand EA. "Huffington Post - Rebuilding Post-Genocide Rwanda 20 Years on - One Job at a Time". Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Results". Hand in Hand International website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  10. ^ "A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development". UN. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.hihinternational.org/What-We-Do/Results.aspx.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Garessus, Emmanuel. "Percy Barnevik veut créer 10 millions d’emplois". Le Temps. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  13. ^ "UN panel's post-2015 goals: 'Promising start' or 'lacking a roadmap'?". Devex. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  14. ^ "Interview Percy Barnevik". Guardian website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  15. ^ "Percy Barnevik Video". Partnering for Global Impact. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  16. ^ "The Tough World of Charity Work". HEC Alumni. Retrieved 07/08/2013. 
  17. ^ "Dr Kalpana Sankar, une femme d’exception". Le Monde. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  18. ^ "Hand In Hand creates 1.3 million jobs". One World South Asia website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  19. ^ "Hand in Hand Afghanistan". 
  20. ^ "BBC interview with Seema Ghani". BBC. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  21. ^ "The Hand in Hand Social Entrepreneurships Programme". Endeva website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  22. ^ "Board of Trustees". Hand in Hand International website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  23. ^ "Social impact fund launched to directly benefit 100,000 Kenyan women micro-entrepreneurs". Angel News. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  24. ^ "Hand in Hand India website". Hand in Hand India website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  25. ^ "Overview of Hand in Hand India". Global Giving. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  26. ^ "Hand in Hand Southern Africa". Hand in Hand Southern Africa website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  27. ^ "Hand in Hand Eastern Africa". Hand in Hand Eastern Africa. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  28. ^ "Hand in Hand Afghanistan". Hand in Hand International. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  29. ^ Young, Holly. "View from the top". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  30. ^ Hand, Hand In. "Hand in Hand International". Non-Governmental Organisation. Hand in Hand International. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  31. ^ "Hand in Hand Sweden". Hand in Hand Sweden website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  32. ^ "Interview with Percy Barnevik". European Venture Philanthropy Association. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  33. ^ Whitaker, Rosa. "Job creation to solve poverty". The World We Want Foundation website. 
  34. ^ Colvin, Geoff. "A CEO masters micro-credit". Fortune Magazine. 
  35. ^ "Savings Groups: What Are They?". SEEP Network. Retrieved 07/10/2013. 
  36. ^ "Entrepreneurship Data 2004-11". Doing Business website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  37. ^ "About the Savings-Led Financial Working Group". SEEP Network website. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 

External links[edit]