Manushi was created in 1991 by a group of seven professional women from different sectors (University teacher, high Level government officers and social workers) to support the empowerment of disadvantaged women especially from rural areas. Ms. Padmasana Shakya, the founder of Manushi and chairperson of the organisation, has a Master in Economics and is devoted social work and women issues. Manushi is addressing gender issues and its goal is to promote gender equality in the promotion of sustainable development, enhance social and economic status of women and put women in the forefront of human development. Manushi is supporting women economically by providing them skill-based and capacity building trainings to empower them through social and economic upliftment. Manushi’s main projects are: -Women empowerment and self confidence. -Micro enterprise development through a micro credit programme -Social and economical upliftment of women through handicraft development -Network development for marketing At the beginning, Manushi started a micro enterprise project for 4 years (1993-1997), with the support of the International Council on Management of Population(ICOMP), a Malaysia-based organization. Manushi established a handicraft development programme focusing on low income, destitute, marginalized producers, especially women. This programme became regular and is now supporting 1,800 beneficiaries from 8 districts (90% are women). Manushi also currently provides skill upgrade trainings to the producers through on-the-job training, as well as advanced skill upgrade trainings with the help of partner organizations. Most of the time the design of products is decided by the buyers but Manushi’s staff and their producers also develop new products or designs to expend the market. 1. Production – Manushi focuses on eco-friendly handicrafts based on natural fiber products like banana fiber or hemp, and using natural dyes like herbs and fruits. Manushi has 1,200 regular producers. 2. Micro credit to women- Manushi has launched a microcredit programme since 10 years for poor women in four districts. It supports 16,397 (2014) beneficiaries, providing them group-based loans without collateral and individual saving skills. The loans are managed by the women’s groups, that provide them to individuals and the group has to monitor the repayment of their members. 3. Micro enterprise development. 4. Skill training - in different subjects such as technology improvement, production, according to the needs of the market. Manushi supports around 18,000 beneficiaries in total: - 16,397 women from different districts for the micro credit programme. Most of them are from low income family, single women, widows, disadvantaged and marginalized, housewives. - 1,200 regular producers, women and men, sometimes up to 1,300 to 1,500 depending upon the market demand. 20 full-time producers are “in house” producers which mean they produce in the office in Kathmandu, the other ones are producing from their home. The “in house” producers receive a fix monthly salary of Rs. 12,000 (95 euros) + some facilities as insurance, food, transportation. The other producers are paid per piece but their salary is more than the minimum base salary from the government. Manushi finances its programmes thanks to export to fair trade buyers and commercial buyers and the marketing of products from their small producers. Regarding the design of the products, they receive technical support from the fair trade buyers and commercial buyer that apply fair trade principles. Manushi’s action covers the following districts: Sindhupalchok- Micro Credit Nuwakot- Micro Credit Kathmandu- Micro Credit, Handicrafts Dolakha- Micro Credit Janakpur- Mithila art and crafts Nawalparashi- Natural Fibre Lalitpur- Handicraft Bhaktapur- Handicraft. It employs 14 people working at their head office and 20 “in house” producers.