Founded in 1991, Phulki demonstrates how investing in on-site daycare services at the workplace, be it in factories, companies or government offices, can benefit working mothers as well as their employers. The organization was started in Bangladesh by Suraiya Haque as a way to allow disadvantaged mothers to breastfeed their infants while at work and gain access to childcare during the day. Today Phulki operates 130 childcare facilities, which the company either manages for a fee or runs with the help of the employers whose company personnel are trained in daycare management by Phulki. Business owners in Bangladesh who have worked with Phulki concur that Phulki’s daycare services lead to employees who are more productive at work, happier and absent less often. Haque’s efforts have also helped women stay in jobs, allowing them greater economic security and independence as well as increased gender balance and empowerment.
Excerpt from Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs 2010, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship