Khushi Kantha aims to create opportunities for mothers in Bangladesh by using their existing embroidery skills to create products that are marketable in high-income countries such as the UK. Every purchase will empower a mother in Bangladesh to provide for her children with dignity and contribute to the circular economy. To turn this vision into a reality, Khushi Kantha needs funds to set up full-scale production in Bangladesh.
Khushi Kantha (Happy Blanket) is a new social enterprise founded by Laura Rana that creates one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose baby blankets with a vibrant ‘stand out’ factor, hand-stitched from reclaimed and ethically sourced cotton by mothers in Bangladesh.
Laura was inspired to launch the initiative by the birth of her half-British, half-Bangladesh twin daughters and her long-standing dream to use everything she’s learned from many years of living and working in Bangladesh to support other mothers whose position she could easily be in herself if circumstances were different.
When Laura became pregnant while working on the humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, she couldn’t stop thinking about all the opportunities her daughters would have and how unfair it was that other mothers couldn’t give their children everything they deserve.
“My fourteen years of experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors, working with organisations like Save the Children, War Child UK and the British Red Cross, has shown me that a social enterprise model is the most effective approach to having a sustainable impact, and breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty. Launching a social enterprise operating between the UK and Bangladesh has been a challenge – but it’s nothing compared to the challenges the mothers I’m partnering with go through every day to try and give their children the best start in life. It’s more important than ever right now for mothers in Bangladesh to be able to earn sustainable incomes from the safety of their own homes.”
Funding from the Matthew Good Foundation will be used towards setting up full-scale production in Bangladesh as soon as it is safe to do so, to help Khushi Kantha become a sustainable social enterprise, and create sustainable incomes for mothers in Bangladesh.
Laura won her place on the Cambridge Social Ventures Incubator thanks to her determination and intelligent approach to starting her social enterprise. Throughout the past year, she has worked hard to test her product and gain traction with a keen set of supporters who are buying her initial products.
Laura is incredibly passionate about making a real difference and her experience on the ground in Bangladesh makes her ideally placed to make Khushi Kantha a success.