LabourNet

Enabling livelihoods for informal sector laborers in India

Investment Snapshot

2013

First Year
of Investment

THE CHALLENGE

Over 90% of the 500M+ labor force in India exists in the unorganized or informal sector, yet most vocational training companies focus on the smaller formal sector. Conditions for informal sector workers are poor – there is little protection from dismissal and few have written work contracts or social security benefits that are mandatory for salaried employees in the formal sector. An estimated 300M+ labourers are illiterate or educated below primary level and most have not had any kind of formal training. As a result the sector is characterized by low skill levels, poor incentives, and consequently stagnant, low incomes.

THE INNOVATION

LabourNet is focused on achieving real income increases for informal sector workers via productivity increases and increased wages, enabling livelihoods via work-integrated job training for informal sector workers in trades such as construction, manufacturing, leather, and beauty among others. The company delivers training at company operated centers and on-site at client operated locations, and has enabled livelihoods through training for over 50K people to date. Over time the company hopes to create an ecosystem of national certification for measurable increases in skills and real income.

THE IMPACT

Acumen and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation invested an undisclosed amount in LabourNet in 2013. The company plans to train and enable livelihoods for 125K+ students annually within five years. More importantly, we believe it will catalyze the market for informal sector job-training and create a game-changing standards and certification ecosystem that is necessary to enable measureable skill development and real income increases for informal labor in India.