On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Venture Connectors will feature Colleen Clines, co-founder and CEO of Anchal Project, a successful nonprofit that trains women in India to sew so that they can leave the sex trade. Over the past five years, Anchal has offered more than 150 commercial sex workers alternative careers in textile design in which they learn to navigate the global fashion market and sell accessories in retail stores. Their products have been sold in Urban Outfitters nationwide and featured in Harper’s Bazaar.
According to the news release, Anchal also teaches women “design thinking,” which is “a method for practical, creative problem-solving that starts with an end goal, unlike the scientific method, which begins by thoroughly defining the parameters of a problem to create a solution.”
Clines will be talking about her experiences with Anchal, and how entrepreneurs can use design thinking to their benefit.
While Clines was in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design studying landscape design, she visited India with friends. When they came home, she and three friends founded Anchal.
In collaboration with her sister, Maggie Clines, the Anchal Project was named a 2014 winner of Louisville’s LOTS of Possibility Competition for its newest project, dyeScape – a network of gardens in West Louisville that will support careers for women in natural dye production.