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Unilever''s Shakti project: empowering Rural Indian Women

Unilever''s Shakti project: empowering Rural Indian Women

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This research is on the positive and negative aspects of Unilever''s Shakti-project, a prime example of marketing to the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid'' as put forward by C.K. Prahalad (2006). Poor rural Indian women are recruited to become small-scale entrepreneurs by Hindustan Lever, the Indian subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever. These women start earning an own income by selling hygiene products in their local community. According to Hindustan Lever, the economic and social status of the women would improve considerably by being a Shakti-entrepreneur. It was found that the Shakti-project does have a positive effect on some women in terms of extra income and empowerment. However, if women do not reach their sales targets, Hindustan Lever is relentless in its actions.
Bottom of the Pyramid in practice