Episode 5: Unmasking Gendered Poverty

Smallwood is delighted to present the fifth episode of Unmasking Gendered Poverty, hosted by Rutendo Ngwena. Each episode of this podcast will shed light on the complexities of gendered poverty and share insights gained from our 136 years of experience supporting women facing financial insecurity.

In this episode, we are joined by Poornima Kirloskar- Saini (Founder and CEO of Kundakala) and Sam Everard (Chief Executive Officer- SAMEE). Our guests will be helping us explore entrepreneurship as a route out of gendered poverty.

Kundakala’s mission is to help women from under-recognised communities become more confident and financially independent through programmes that provide tailoring skills and business enterprise support.  Poornima, the founder, moved to the UK from Mumbai, India about 20 years ago and has worked in the field of women empowerment ever since. She started my career with the award-winning social enterprise Women Like Us, providing career guidance and recruitment to women who had taken a career break after their children.

Sam Everard of SAMEE is a dedicated entrepreneur with a flair for reaching out to vulnerable people in the community and helping them explore self-employment. A dynamic and SFEDI Level 7 qualified business start-up advisor with over 20 years experience of providing information, mentoring and guidance for sole traders and SMEs. Sam is the Chair of the South West Regional Stakeholder Network for the Disability Unit in Cabinet Office and studying towards a PhD at Bournemouth University. Both of these roles allow her to engage with disabled people on a deep level which informs the development of best practice for the disabled community.

Kundakala and SAMEE are both part of our Community Grant Partner Programme. 

Useful links from this episode: 

About the SAMEE charity: SAMEE Charity – Work with disabled people on self-employment

Clair’s website (mentioned in the episode)  Home | lavish4me-blended essential oils-natural solutions-mind-body-spirit

About Kundakala.

Support Kundakala’s Graduates through buying their products: THE KUNDAKALA COLLECTIVE

Smallwood Community Grant Partner programme: https://www.smallwoodtrust.org.uk/community-grant-partnership-programme/ 

Happy listening!

You can listen to Episode 5 on SpotifyAcastApple PodcastsAmazon Music or on our website.

We will be sharing some additional resources later in the week on place-based systems change on our learning page for your further reading.

Kundakala and SAMEE are both part of our Community Grant Partner Programme. You can learn more about this programme here.

We have also uploaded an additional article on Empowering Women: The Impact of Support in Employability and Entrepreneurship

If you’d like to share your responses to this episode or supporting resources, you can continue the conversation with Rutendo at RutendoNgwena@smallwoodtrust.org.uk.


Unmasking Gendered Poverty is an extension of the Gendered Poverty Learning Programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

This initiative represents Smallwood’s dedication to understanding and addressing the root causes of gendered poverty. This programme shifts our focus to understanding the process of change alongside tangible outcomes. By doing so, Smallwood Trust aims to derive actionable learnings and best practices that can positively impact the women’s sector on various levels. Moreover, it empowers our grant partners to confront local systems of injustice and create lasting change for women in their communities.

You can find all released podcast episodes on our ‘Learning Journey’ page, a dedicated platform for sharing what we have learnt in our efforts to tackle gendered poverty alongside our partners on the frontline.

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