Cottage Industries

“Give a Man a Fish and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”

78_giving4“Serve With A Smile”. N. p., 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.

By definition, cottage industries are, industries “where the creation of products and services is home-based, rather than factory-based.”

These industries are specifically designed for rural areas and economically depressed communities. Products that come from these industries are based on the resources that people can access in their surrounding areas. This then makes their products inexpensive to them. Common products that are created in cottage industries are candles, body care products, textiles, art etc.

This type of self-employment can be particularly helpful in revitalizing a community. The idea that I have, is to model my work around cottage industries. Using my research on natural products that come from India, I can create a similar model in small districts in Southern India.

food_feature1-4.jpg“Cottage Industries” N. p., 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.

This idea goes hand-in-hand with the quote at the beginning of this post. The idea is to give women the skills to sustain themselves. Self-employment at homes allows women to work and be at home. It is a great balance for women who want to be homemakers, but also women who don’t want to. There are low start-up costs and low regulations which give people more freedom to create goods. The end products stemming from homes is often unique and is hand-crafted quality.

This obviously is not a new concept. It has been around for decades, but it is a fantastic mechanism for empowerment.Empirically, it has been proven that cottage industries have given women economic independence in developing countries and developed countries.

1) “What Is A Cottage Industry? Definition And Meaning”. N. p., 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.
2) “What Types Of Products Are Made In A Cottage Industry?”. wiseGEEK. N. p., 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.
3) “Cottage Industry | Economy Watch” N. p., 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.


3 thoughts on “Cottage Industries

  1. wbdrisco

    I’m intrigued by your idea here, and I’m curious: what exactly are the cottage industries that you could utilize to create economic prosperity for women in southern India?

  2. Sophie Xi

    I am also very interested in your idea and curious to know some real-life examples of cottage industries in India. Are there many people in India are using the business model of cottage industries? And are they all successful?

  3. margaretjhaviland

    Megan, I do have one question about cottage industries and women. On the face of it, it could mean that women now are doing all the work they did previously to prepare meals, care for the children and care for the home AND now doing even more work. What is the trade off? What are the things you might want to consider that would support women in their cottage industry(ies). How might you better understand the constraints other than finances that will shape the success women experience in your proposed cottage industry?


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