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How One Mom Made It Her Business to Help Women in Poverty Worldwide

by Stacey Edgar

Pub Date: April 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-62173-5
Publisher: St. Martin's

The impressive story of how one socially conscious young American woman is changing the lives of poor women in third-world countries.

Edgar, the founder of Global Girlfriend, a company that markets hand-crafted apparel, accessories and jewelry, started her venture in 2003 with a $2,000 tax refund. Using the Internet and her network of friends and relatives, she began with goods from women’s cooperatives and showed her fair-trade, eco-friendly, women-made products in living rooms and church basements and at street fairs. With great gusto, she tells how she grew the business with hard work, good connections and the generous help of her many talented girlfriends. To get the products she needed, the good-humored and seemingly tireless author journeyed to India, Nepal, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Uganda and Kenya, meeting with women, learning what they could do, what materials were available or could be obtained and teaching them how to maintain quality and create items that would sell in the American market. Edgar paints warm portraits of many of the remarkable women she met, but she also provides grim statistics—of the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1 per day, 70 percent are women—and some grim pictures of the extreme poverty of rural India and the monstrous sex trafficking of young girls in Nepal. The company that started small eventually became a multimillion-dollar enterprise selling its goods in stores across the United States and online and providing a livelihood to thousands of impoverished women around the globe. Edgar’s message is that one committed person can take actions that have a major impact on the lives of other individuals. To help others follow her lead, she concludes with a five-point summary of the lessons she has learned from her experience.

An engaging read, upbeat and inspiring.