In India, the Blue Mango Trust was created as a sustainable business by and for marginalized women who are disabled, deserted, widowed or living with AIDS. Design innovation at Blue Mango is done backwards. Women first, design follows. Paying the women a fair wage drives the design, not the other way around. Products are designed in such a way that women, who are paid by piece rate, can work efficiently and earn fair wages. At the same time, these products must keep up with the evolving trends and demands of a competitive market place.
The emphasis on savings is our signature feature. Blue Mango women each have an ATM card, and at least one savings account. Sometimes they have two, one that they tell their husbands about and one kept privately, locked up in our safe. Blue Mango women voluntarily transfer a proportion of their monthly earnings into their savings accounts. In addition, a monthly bonus of 25% of their total piece rates is automatically deposited into their savings accounts. On top of that, each woman is enrolled into a pension fund, where each woman contributes 12% of her salary, which Blue Mango matches. Finally, if a woman works for more than five years, she is eligible for gratuity.
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