40K was started twelve years ago when co-founder Clary went to India as a naïve law student and noticed locals working in an illegal quarry. He was appalled by the unfair working conditions and felt called to take action. After talking to the locals Clary discovered these hardworking parents wanted to provide an education for their children. Co-founder Clary was on a mission to raise $40,000 to build a school in rural India.
The school took five years to build and ended up costing $500,000 to build which allowed 300 kids from the quarry community to attend. Throughout this venture Clary realized education is a much bigger issue than just building a school. Clary wanted to provide a high quality education with advanced programs for the children in India. After launching the school, Clary wanted to further the education program in India and set out to create an ed-tech after-school English education program, 40K PLUS. Through this program students have the opportunity to learn English through a tablet that tracks their progress and adapts to their learning difficulties in an offline environment. Students who have participated in this program are two years AHEAD of those attending local government funded schools. As of today 1,073 kids have enrolled in 40K PLUS across twenty villages with 2017 seeing the expansion into Cambodia and 20 more villages.
While running 40K PLUS, the team at 40K developed 40K GLOBE. 40K Globe provides university students a one month internship on social enterprise in rural India. During the month, students work alongside PLUS and the communities to both scale PLUS and provide other opportunities for the community. This led to the development of 40K Products, a social enterprise that employs women from the local community to create goods such as laptop sleeves, shorts, jewelry, and more. These goods are ethically made and are sold through international channels. This allows women to work around twenty hours a week and still balance the cultural home duties.
I LOVE my 40K Khushi Shorts. These shorts are light weight and perfect for the weather in Texas. The pattern is fun and unique too! These shorts are affordable, comfortable, and ethically made! I encourage you to support this cause and order a pair for your spring break travels!
Through the many platforms 40K has created, they are creating social impact on multiple levels in rural India and for college students. Due to all their hard work 40K was named as Australia’s Most Innovative Social Enterprise and was recently back by the Australian Government for a $500,000 grant. I am excited to watch 40K continue the expansion of their products and encourage you to follow their journey as well.