The Journey of Imas Toward Economic Inclusion

May 13, 2015

Meet Imas, from Jakarta, Indonesia. She supports her 10 siblings with money earned from her work as a seamstress.

She began as a domestic worker, aged 10.

Sewing “started out as a hobby,” Imas says. “I think I also have it in my genes, because my grandmother was a seamstress.”

Imas’s employer noted how clever she was with her fingers pretty early in her employment.

“It was my boss actually who told me. He said: it’s for my life. He knew I had a hobby of sewing. He said: ‘Just do the course while you’re working.’”

Imas continues, “I had a short course. Because of life’s expenses I decided to open this shop, tailoring.” And she was on her way.

Imas’s boss is a Connector. By motivating her to take the sewing course, and enabling her to get in touch with one of the three pillars of economic inclusion—Knowledge (the others are Employment and Capital)—Imas’s boss helped her to move to the periphery of her network of family and employer, and advance on her journey to economic inclusion.

These journeys are at the heart of The Connectors Project. The result of in-depth interviews and survey research in four important developing markets—Egypt, Mexico, India and Indonesia—The Connectors Project names the five archetypical Connectors and demonstrates how intervention on the part of each—Mentor, Introducer, Role Model, Business Influencer and Migrator—positively impacts the lives of people like Imas, enabling them to become Connectors themselves.

The Connectors Project provides a blueprint for governments, NGOs and private enterprise to locate more Connectors at scale, and reach thousands of people like Imas on their journey toward economic inclusion.

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 View the interview with Imas


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