Empowering Women, Bit by Bit

How five women from California came up with a plan to eliminate poverty in Africa–one necklace at a time

This article is from Issue 57: May/June 2012

A glance at their website and 31 Bits may seem like just another jewelry company—so lighting, gorgeous models and brightly-colored accessories. But when Alli Swanson and the other 31 Bits co-founders set out to counter poverty in Uganda by selling handmade paper jewelry, they knew it would take more than pretty trinkets. What emerged was a grassroots program that combines a steady income to Ugandan women with education, financial and vocational training, holistic care, and strong support systems.