Our story began in 2013. The pioneering Once Upon a Doug team had the arduous task of identifying a solution to the issues raised by GM cotton seeds, high interest loans, unreliable weather and the consequential farmer suicides which would also create a sustainable future for cotton farming families affected.
During the following year, the team’s objectives evolved into product development and launching the business; and so, Doug was born. More than just a product, Doug would become a symbol to raise awareness for the cause as well as providing a supplementary income to women in farming communities.
Following the launch of Once Upon a Doug, the third cohort of students had the mission of raising awareness for the cause and product and bringing it to the attention of the UK. They also started to develop a business structure to ensure the sustainability of the project. Having successfully executed this for UK operations, they then passed the torch to the current students to implement this on an international scale and to develop sustainable partnerships that will allow the project to continue expanding and supporting its beneficiaries.
Four years on from the projects inception, Once Upon a Doug aims to empower women in cotton farming communities that have been adversely affected by the introduction of GM seeds, unreliable weather and the costs associated with this. As well as supporting our beneficiaries, we contribute to multiple community projects moving to improve and develop the lives of all members of the farming community.
Every year, the team gets the amazing opportunity to travel to India to meet our beneficiaries and hear their inspiring stories first-hand. Talking with these inspiring women is the best evidence of the benefits of the project and how it is positively impacting the lives of the farming community as a whole. One woman we visited this year told us the moving story of how Doug has empowered her to become the key provider in her household and gain the support of her husband in her entrepreneurial endeavours.
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