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The Birth of Freeset

The Birth of Freeset

In 1999 . . .


Kerry and Annie Hilton decided to leave their idyllic lifestyle in Albany, New Zealand and move to India to establish a business amongst the poor. When they unwittingly moved their family into Sonagacchi, the poor they found themselves helping were sex workers.

Realizing that to make a real difference charity just wouldn’t cut it, the Hiltons set about creating a viable business, teaching the women to read and write as well as training them to become skilled workers and business women.

After much product research and market testing, Kerry decided that manufacturing jute bags for export would be a realistic proposition. They called the business Freeset and signed up their first business partners: 20 older women from the district who were – albeit reluctantly – willing to give foreigners with good intentions another go.

Want to learn how Freeset uses entrepreneurship to help victims of sex trafficking? Watch the documentary, Calcutta Hilton. Go to to buy the dvd.