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The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, founded in November 2012 and hosted by the Aspen Institute, is a collaborative effort of over 70 artisan businesses, artisan support organizations, corporations, government agencies, and other partners who are working together to promote the full potential of the global artisan sector.  

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise was created to elevate the importance of the artisan sector, support and grow artisan businesses, and share best practices in a collaborative learning community. 

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About the Competition

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise wants you to be part of our global campaign for the artisan sector.  

We will reward the most compelling content that captures the value and impact of artisan enterprises worldwide. Participants will have a chance to win prizes and have your work featured in a high-profile campaign event in Washington, D.C. in  September 2015. Contest finalists will be announced in late August 2015.


"Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy"

Behind agriculture, artisan activity is the 2nd largest employer in the developing world - a $34 billion a year market. The Alliance plans to elevate the importance of the artisan sector through a global marketing campaign celebrating artisan enterprise as "the new startup economy."

You're an artisan - an entrepreneur, too. Or you appreciate hand-made crafts and benefit from artisan activity. Either way, you play an important role in the new startup economy. Whether you're an artisan or an artisan supporter, we need your help to tell this story by sharing your visual designs to address the topics below. 


Topic 1, "I Am Artisan," will illustrate through multimedia the concept of the artisan as the original "maker"- an innovator and entrepreneur of beauty, design, and cultural traditional. Submit your best visual content that captures the entrepreneurial experience through the artisan's eyes and demonstrates the micro-level impact of artisan activity to empower individual artisans, artisan families, and local communities.

Submit your best photos, videos, illustrations, mural designs, or other media that visually capture one or more of the following:

  • What inspires or motivates the artisan as a maker, innovator, or entrepreneur?
  • How does artisan activity empower individual artisans, artisan families, and local communities?
  • How does your craft demonstrate innovation or creativity in the artisan design, production, or business process?
  • How does your business bring jobs and opportunity to the local community?


Topic 2 will illustrate through multimedia and infographics the macro-level impact of the artisan economy. At the intersection of art, commerce, and cultural tradition, the $34 billion a year artisan economy is a beautiful number. We are seeking content that captures the artisan-consumer value exchange, how artisan enterprise helps to drive sustainable development, and the business and economic impact of investment in artisan activity worldwide.

Submit your best photos, videos, illustrations, mural designs, or other media that visually convey one or more of the following messages:

  • The artisan economy is the second largest employer in the developing world after agriculture.
  • Global exports of artisan goods is a nearly $34 billion a year market, 65% from developing economies.
  • Women are the primary beneficiaries of the artisan economy.
  • Investment in artisan work generates income, creates jobs, fosters economic communities, and preserves cultural traditions.
  • Artisan goods are meaningful luxury through the value exchanged between artisans, suppliers, retailers, and consumers.




Finalists will win: 

  • An expenses-paid trip to the Alliance Global Campaign Launch Event in Washington, D.C. in September 2015.
  • Their multimedia content showcased at the September event and in future Alliance marketing materials.
  • An opportunity to feature your artisan products or craft-making process at the launch event trade show.



The competition winner will receive: 

  • A $1500 cash prize.
  • Recognition at the September event and the winning design featured in the event program.
  • An opportunity to serve as the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise design fellow.
  • Designs featured in the Alliance global marketing campaign. 


The Alliance received more than 150 entries from artisans and artisans supporters in 42 countries. We are thrilled to review all of the beautiful and compelling content you submitted. Your entries will now be reviewed by our evaluation committee.

We will contact all participants with the status of their submission by late August, so that finalists may begin making travel arrangements to the global campaign launch event in Washington, D.C. Finalists will be publically announced on our website and at the launch event on September 10. Check back for updates!

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out by email with any questions at