From just 7 original beneficiaries, nonprofit finds flexibility is key to scale

By Lisa Cornish 07 December 2015

Some of the ladies that are being supported by Seven Women in Nepal. The organization has trained and employed over 900 disadvantaged Nepalese women and continues to grow and evolve based on the needs identified by the recipients themselves. Photo by: Lachie Mcgarvie / Seven Women

Seven Women started with a simple aim — create opportunity for seven women living with disability in Nepal. Within the space of nine years, Seven Women has grown rapidly.

The organization has trained and employed over 900 disadvantaged Nepalese women and continues to grow and evolve based on the needs identified by the recipients themselves. And the nonprofit group is making larger nongovernmental organizations take notice thanks to their self-funding model that is proving to provide a greater impact on sustainable development for women in Nepal.

The Seven Women experience illustrates that scaling impact does not always require donor funding or large capital investments.

The power of self-sufficiency

Seven Women’s primary source of income is the sale of fair trade products, including clothing, bags, toys and Christmas decorations, all handmade by women supported through the program.

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About the author

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Lisa Cornish@lisa_cornish

Lisa Cornish is a freelance data journalist based in Canberra, Australia. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and online through news.com.au. Lisa has recently been awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.


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