Progress through improved financial health

Project partner: Swisscontact

Progress through improved financial health

Project partner: Swisscontact

Sarathi – Progress through improved financial health

Access to financial services

Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest garment exporters. The so-called RMG sector (Ready-made garment sector) accounts for over 80% of the country’s exports. The garment industry employs between four to five million workers, over 60% of whom are women. Until a few years ago, the garment industry was largely cash-based. Thanks to earlier projects, most workers now have a bank account. However, the goal is to improve the overall financial health of RMG workers and thereby reduce poverty.
Financial health is a state in which a person’s finances allow them to meet current needs, absorb financial shocks,
and pursue savings goals. To do this, they need access to formal financial services that go beyond having a bank account.

Customized solutions

Sarathi aims to provide customized and preferably digital financial products for workers in the garment industry. This includes services such as savings, insurance and credit products.


Sarathi focusses on financial health of the garment workers. Bank employees come to the factories

Bank employees come to the factories

Partner commercial banks organize so-called salary camps directly in the garment factories. For this purpose, they set up stations on the premises of the factory. There, the workers can open an account, ask their questions to the bank staff, solve problems and create savings plans. This facilitates the interaction between the workers in the factory and the bank.

Training program for low-skilled workers

One area of intervention targets low-qualified workers. These positions are mostly occupied by women. Their risk of losing their jobs due to automation in the RMG industry is particularly high. To improve their employment prospects, Sarathi offers a training program. To this end, various collaborations have been established, e.g. with the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and international fashion brands.

The Sarathi project aims at giving workers in the garment industry access to customized and preferably digital formal financial services to promote their financial health.

Training for future female entrepreneurs

In addition, interested women can participate in an entrepreneurship training program and receive support in starting their own business. This includes easier access to incubation services and loans.

Happel Foundation, Schweiz - Logo

Happel Foundation | Swisscontact

⇒ The Happel Foundation is a long-term partner of Swisscontact. The aim of the commitment in Bangladesh is to enable workers in the RMG sector to access banking services and thus to improve their financial health. ⇐

The Happel Foundation

Areas of Activity

The Happel Foundation supports projects according to the principle of “help for self-help”.

Sponsorship application

Sponsorship applications can only be submitted online on our application platform.

About the foundation

The Happel Foundation Switzerland is a charitable Swiss foundation based in Lucerne.