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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. 

Highlighting the Basic Record Book at the 2017 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe

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Highlighting the Basic Record Book at the 2017 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe

Gina Rogari

Every July, nearly 20,000 visitors head up Santa Fe's Museum Hill for the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe, the world's largest annual folk art festival. This year, over 160 master artisans from 53 countries showcased and sold their work, bringing together Santa Fe residents, folk art enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, academics, and more. The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise is a proud partner of the International Folk Art Alliance, offering annual training sessions for Folk Art Market artists and access to the Alliance-Kiva Artisan Loan Program

At this year's market, the Alliance unveiled its newest resource developed exclusively for artisan entrepreneurs: the Artisan Business Coaching program. 

Artisan entrepreneurs around the world struggle to sustain themselves as small businesses and provide steady income to artisan producers. Many artisan businesses participate in the informal economy and have no access to formal business training. In collaboration with key partners, the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise developed Artisan Business Coaching, a set of business training resources adapted from the International Labor Organization's Start and Improve Your Business Programme. The series of modules begins with Basic Record Keeping, and will grow to include additional resources on Business Planning, Marketing, Costing & Pricing, and more! Illustrated stories and guided examples provide an easy entry-point for artisan entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds and experiences to understand the benefits of keeping basic business records.

In the first-ever Artisan Business Coaching session, Alliance trainers introduced the Basic Record Book to 20 representatives from artisan businesses working across the globe. Participants were introduced to the basics of record keeping, and practiced completing a Basic Record Book and Customers' Accounts Record.  

"I am excited to use this training with the artisans I work with," said one participant from Guatemala. "We don't keep many records right now, but know that they are important for our business."

There is an urgent need to continue building support systems for artisan entrepreneurs around the world, and recognize the extraordinary economic potential of artisan businesses. Please join us as we continue this important work. Learn more about the Artisan Business Coaching on our website, and do not hesitate to reach out to the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise with any feedback or additional training opportunities. 

In fall and winter 2017, the Alliance plans to host additional Record Keeping training sessions in Peru, New Orleans, and more. Email Gina Rogari at gina.rogari@aspeninst.org to learn more, or if your business is interested in participating in a future Artisan Business Coaching session!