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Kiran Social Enterprises | India



Kiran Social Enterprises (KSE) is a vocational training and employment center for women from the slums in Kolkata, India. Kiran focuses on women primarily unemployed or employed in the informal sector. This means that women especially are undervalued and have little to no rights in their workplace, including recourse for dispute resolution.
Kiran Social Enterprises (KSE) was founded as a joint initiative between Kolkata City Mission and Jane and Steve Wilson in 2013. (KCM is an Indian NGO working in the slums of Kolkata.) Jane and Steve Wilson are Australians who have relocated to Kolkata to live and work amongst the poor. Essentially, KSE is the social enterprise arm of KCM. 



Kiran seeks to empower women living in the slums of Kolkata, India towards holistic transformation. Its vocational training and employment enables women to become artisans in skills such as jewelry making while earning fair wages through dignified work. Kiran operates not just as business and workshop but also as a community of support and hope. Through KSE and KCM, the following programs are offered:
  • Jewelry making vocational training and employment
  • Hand woven scarf weaving training (with employment program to follow)
  • Self Help Groups (SHGs). The ladies are facilitated by KCM to form SHGs, which are savings groups where each member contributes a little each month to pool their combined savings and lend out to group members as needs arise
  • Clean burning stove project. In partnership with Ashadesh, Kiran offers a project that enables families in the slums to switch from smoky cooking stoves that deal disease and premature death to clean burning gas ones. 


Your purchase provides income to women in Kiran’s training program while also helping to fund the growth of the program. Kiran is able to pay the women wages at above minimum fair trade guidelines (and well above local wage rates). 


With the fair wages the women earn, they are able to put the extra money earned towards whatever it is that they need to take their next step out of poverty, be it more nutritious food, rent, medicines, schooling, home building, paying off debt etc. Apart from the financial benefits of working with Kiran, there is an increased confidence in the women and the dignity that comes from knowing they can produce beautiful jewelry and be change agents in their own families. It means having more influence in what happens to finances, a significant factor in families where the men can drink excessively or channel funds away from the family in other ways. Learn more.

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