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Ending human trafficking through mass economic empowerment.

Through partnerships across the globe Nomi Network will provide economic opportunities through training and job placement using technology.

Photo of Maria Dora Blackburn
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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Explain your project idea in two sentences.

Nomi Network seeks to create mass economic opportunity for survivors and people at risk of human trafficking. Through global partnerships, we will provide training and job placement using technology.

What is your organization name? Explain your organization in one sentence.

Nomi Network creates economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking.

Is this project idea new for you or your organization? If no, how much have you already executed on?

The curriculum for this project has been developed and we are ready to roll out partnerships to expand our pilot.

What is the problem you aim to solve with this idea? How would you define this problem as urgent and a priority in your target community?

There are 46 million slaves today & human trafficking is a $150 billion industry. Poverty is a key driver of trafficking. Women living in extreme poverty are highly vulnerable to sexual & labor exploitation due to lack of sustained employment.

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

We are planning to expand our pilot for this project within this year by identifying several key partnerships. We will deliver the curriculum to these partners through vigorous training by Nomi Network staff and monitor the results.

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of responsibility).

We will work with a tech company to develop app and 360 video technology to help implement the training and curriculum. Nomi Network staff will oversee the initial training period until our partners are ready to fully adopt the curriculum.

What do you need the most support with in this project idea?

  • Business Development/Partnerships

What is your primary goal over the next 6 weeks of Refinement?

  • Get feedback from experts

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) results for this project?

We measure results through monitoring our programs. We measure skills development & capacity building by: the # of women receiving training; skills enhancement of trainees (jobs secured, # of savings accounts opened, # of trainees sending children to school, growth of partner orgs); production (quality of work, production level, health benefits, quality of life); & sales & market access (type of products, price point, revenue, awareness & demand generated for products, distribution channels).

How has your project proposal changed due to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase?

We have discovered potential partnerships for the project’s implementation.

Nomi Network's mission is to provide direct training, capacity building, and market access programs to survivors and women at risk of human trafficking living in Cambodia and India.

Our vision is a world without slavery and a better life for women. Specifically, we aim to train or help employ 100,000 women in the next seven years, while ensuring that over 400,000 children have the opportunity for a better life.

Explain your idea

There are 46 million slaves today, worse than any time in history. In India, generations are forced into prostitution, bonded labor, and producing some of the products we consume today. Poverty is one of the key drivers that perpetuate human trafficking. The emancipation process is extremely challenging for survivors and women at-risk because of a lack of income and viable job opportunities after being rescued and rehabilitated. It is critical they secure jobs or they will be re-trafficked and there are no scalable solutions currently for this population. Nomi Network’s (“Nomi”) vision is to leverage our curriculum and replicable model to reduce the human trafficking by 50%, creating millions of jobs for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking in the next 5 years while cutting off the generational cycle of slavery by enrolling their children into school. Currently, 100% of our trainees who pass our advance-training program have secured a job or started their own businesses. Since 2009 we have worked with rescue agencies, shelters and non-profits to provide training and job creation services to thousands of women. We have received hundreds of inquiries from non-profits and corporations around the world that want to work with Nomi to provide training and ethical job opportunities. Nomi’s program increases women’s employment potential, breaking the cycle of poverty and re-entrance into human trafficking. They secure careers in fashion manufacturing, start micro-enterprises, become change agents in their family, and support other vulnerable community members. Prior to our program, these women are illiterate and have major barriers to work. Our curriculum addresses caste barriers, lack of self-confidence, punctuality, trauma and other areas that prevent women from reintegrating into society. We provide math, reading, and technical skills for fashion manufacturing. Once trained, we witness transformation in themselves, the workplace and their families. The women send their daughters to school, instead of becoming child brides or working in brothels. Women become self-sufficient and save money. They even make friends with women who are from a different caste. We serve as a production resource to brands during their product development stage, where they work closely with us to develop a product their consumers demand. We will also start training factory workers in Cambodia, improving their soft skills and advanced technical skills critical to upward mobility and higher pay. We propose to expand our training program globally by partnering with NGOs and social enterprises to deliver our curriculum leveraging technology we have developed in partnership with local NGOs.

Who Benefits?

Nomi is dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. While little efforts have been made by governments to prevent and prosecute trafficking, for survivors, the emancipation process is challenging as they lack income and viable job opportunities; many end up re-trafficked. Despite laws against trafficking, women living in extreme poverty are highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation due to a lack of, and barriers to, ethical and sustained employment. Nomi’s programs are in trafficking hot spots like Bihar where 70% of the population live below the poverty line. Our vision is to reach other communities like Bihar by partnering with NGOs and social enterprises to deliver our curriculum. Nomi will implement criteria in which partner organization must comply by reaching our target people groups. This would include those at risk of human trafficking living below the poverty line, experiencing social inequality, gender-based violence, and/or discrimination, and survivors of human trafficking.

How is your idea unique?

Nomi is breaking the cycle of poverty that often leads to human trafficking through market driven training programs. We have already connected with game changers in big business who will commit to employing our target group. This will assist in elevating the CSR of companies and organizations that seek to employ difficult to serve populations. It is unique in that this will not only benefit Nomi, but also the NGOs and enterprises that will partner with us. With Nomi's training and curriculum, that will be available to the public, these populations will gain the skills and support they need for job security. Many of the barriers to employment will be addresses by our replicable training program. Nomi’s rural curriculum was developed in 2012 and was since revised to fit cultural and linguistic capabilities, with input directly from our target beneficiaries and focuses on life skills, workforce readiness, trust building, teamwork, leadership, motivation, and industry specific skills.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Tell us more about you

Nomi Network is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty that perpetuates human trafficking globally. Specifically, Nomi Network leverages the fashion industry to implement product design, development and marketing strategies for slave-free products. Nomi provides direct training to survivors and women at risk of human trafficking and also manufactures products with our signature label, "Buy Her Bag, Not Her Body ®" to raise awareness about this global humanitarian issue. Our headquarters is based in New York City and we have field offices in Bihar, India and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We are looking to partner with NGOs, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs to see our vision become a reality by expanding our programs reach. For more information go to

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
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Attachments (3)


User Experience Map

Annual Report 2016.pdf

Our 2016 accomplishments and challenges.

Nomi Network Initiatives.pdf

How we provide market access stateside.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Maria,

It is great to see how your project submission has progressed and how you have responded to expert feedback.

As the challenge is drawing to a close, are there any types of organisation operating in certain geographies and sectors that you would like to connect to for this project or future projects?

I am tagging Dipanwita Das here because she might have some thoughts on the training side of your proposal.

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