FREESET BUSINESS INCUBATOR
A registered Indian Private Limited company
Since 2001 Freeset Bags & Apparel has been offering women trapped in prostitution the opportunity to choose freedom.
Based in the heart of Kolkata, India, Freeset produces high-quality bags and organic cotton t-shirts for the export market. The business exists solely to provide employment, dignity and freedom to women who would otherwise remain trapped in the sex trade. The starting point for many women is not prostitution but poverty. Poverty robs individuals and communities of something most of us take for granted — the ability to choose. Lack of economic choice provides the ideal environment for trafficking (the slave trade) and prostitution to flourish.Freeset’s focus has been to provide freedom to those already robbed of dignity and hope. Today, nearly 200 women are part of this freedom business. See Freeset Global…These powerful stories of freedom must be viewed in the context of the Kolkata neighbourhood in which Freeset Bags and Apparel operates. A place called Sonagacchi. With more than 10,000 women trapped in prostitution, currently only 2% (Freeset and similar organisations combined) have had opportunity to choose freedom.Add to this the fact that young girls are being trafficked from villages into this neighbourhood every day and one begins to understand the scope and gravity of the situation.
A broader strategy is needed – beyond just one business: The Reason for the Freeset Business Incubator.
Freeset has proven that a business approach to freedom works. The next phase must leverage this approach by multiplying this model and exploring new ones – at both the source and destination of human trafficking.
The Twin Objectives of Multiplying Businesses
Multiplying One Business Into Many Businesses
Mina Satra, one of the 20 original Freeset women has a vision of freedom for 10,000 women. One business, regardless of its success, will not be able to fulfil this vision. Offering jobs to a few more women every month while thousands remain trapped in prostitution with many more entering the trade daily cannot be the sole strategy.A strategy of multiplication must be developed with many freedom businesses offering economic choice to thousands of women.
Addressing Source and Destination
Freeset provides choice for women who have been through the horrors of sex slavery at destination and given the neighbourhood the company has a moral mandate to continue to grow. The question has to be asked though, “why wait until little girls are stolen and sold into prostitution?”Is it okay to wait until girls are taken from their villages, put into brothels, robbed of their innocence and their lives changed forever? Of course not! Both the source and destination need to be addressed. We must continue to keep working at the “bottom of the cliff” in Sonagacchi and other red light areas but at the same time build fences at the top to prevent the vulnerable from being trafficked in the first place.Choice through business needs to be on offer to women and girls at the source as well. A more powerful freedom story is one in which a girl is never stolen and never sold in the first place.
The Freeset Business Incubator has been established to multiply freedom opportunities and therefore freedom businesses at source and destination. We want to help and resource anyone who wants to do the same.
…for promoting the Freedom Business Incubator and its associated businesses. Learn more…
…for the theological and business learning outcomes of the Freeset Business Incubator community. Learn more…
…for manufacturing a wide range of products across multiple disciplines. Learn more…
…the contact point between the Product Research, Development staff and the village based business units. Learn more…