In a small, rural village in Masoro, Rwanda, more than 150 women make high quality handbags that end up on the shelves of one of the biggest names in fashion: Kate Spade & Company.
The artisans in Masoro are employees of Abahizi Dushyigikirane, Ltd. (ADC), the supplier of Kate Spade & Company’s on purpose label, an initiative launched in 2013 as a new and innovative value chain approach to empowering women. on purpose, a fully integrated commercial division of Kate Spade & Company, is uniquely positioned to empower women through their “social enterprise supplier model.”
ADC is a Rwandan-owned for-profit social enterprise that provides high-quality products to the global fashion industry with a social commitment to empower its employees and transform its community.
Professors Edward Soule, Pietra Rivoli, and Catherine Tinsley from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business conducted research on ADC and the on purpose initiative for the past 23 months. They wanted to understand the viability of its business model and the feasibility to supply a global brand from a base in rural Rwanda. Also, the professors wanted to document ADC’s human impact – the extent to which the company’s employment experience is economically and psychologically empowering.
Their findings are included in a research report, “A Social Enterprise Link in a Global Value Chain: Performance and Potential of a New Supplier Model.”
For the full story, visit http://msb.georgetown.edu/newsroom/news/empowering-women-global-supply-chains.