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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. 

September 2017

Newsletters Archive

September 2017

Gina Rogari

September 2017.png

Meet the 2017 TEDWomen Global Showcase participants:

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise is thrilled to host the second-ever Global Showcase at the 2017 TEDWomen Conference, November 1-3 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, the Alliance is highlighting artisan enterprises that provide vulnerable refugee populations with sustainable livelihoods. Join us as we celebrate the skills and stories of refugee artisans in an immersive learning experience, re-examining entrepreneurship on a global scale. Follow the Global Showcase at www.allianceforartisanenterprise.org/tedwomen, and learn more about this year's participants:

  • Afrika Tiss | Providing income to more than 140 Tuareg artisans living as refugees in Burkina Faso
  • Artisan Links | Employing over 100 Afghan refugees living in Pakistan in embroidery and handicraft production
  • ARZU Studio Hope | Helping Afghan women rebuild their lives by providing steady income and access to education, healthcare, and sustainable community development
  • GAIA Empowered Women | Empowering refugee women in Dallas, Texas through employment, encouragement, and dedication to their long-term success in local communities
  • Heshima Kenya | Protecting unaccompanied women and girls from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi, and beyond
  • INAASH | Providing employment for Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon through the preservation and promotion of traditional embroidery
  • Indego Africa | Training, employment, and basic business education for 50 Burundian artisans at the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda
  • Jordan River Foundation | Established by Her Majesty Queen Rania to provide employment opportunities and enhanced livelihoods for Jordanian women and Syrian refugees
  • Rania Kinge | Creating a safe place for displaced Syrian women to craft artisan jewelry and ensuring ancient cities are not abandoned
  • Womencraft | Employing more than 300 rural East African women in the tri-border area of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania

Submit a piece for the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise blog:

Has your organization's work been featured in any online news outlets or on one of your partner's blogs? Have you written any pieces about your recent impact or upcoming product lines? Submit your work to gina.rogari@aspeninst.org to be featured on the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise blog and social media pages, reaching 2,000+ viewers each month!

*Blog submissions do not need to be original pieces written for the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, but can be re-posted from other outlets. 

Lessons Learned from Artisan Connect, an Online Marketplace for Global Artisans

This month, Amanda North of Artisan Connect shared learnings from running the online marketplace Artisan Connect on the Alliance Digital Learning Series. Her case study explores the issues of market access for artisans the company was formed to address, its business model and organizational structure, as well as the challenges it faced, which ultimately led to its merger at the end of 2016. Read her full case study on LinkedIn here, and watch the Digital Learning Series session online today!

Member updates:

  • On Saturday, October 7, ClothRoads is sponsoring a day-long film festival featuring Sustainable Textile Practices and Indigenous Textile Cultures in Loveland, Colorado; learn more and buy tickets
  • The "Buy Good Feel Good" Expo is offering a special discount to all international exhibitors for the upcoming May 2018 show. Find more information here, and contact Rafik Riad with any questions! 
  • Help Ock Pop Tok send a weaver to Peru for November's TINKUY Gathering of Weavers; support their Indiegogo campaign today!
  • Find Heshima Kenya, Mela Artisans, and Sasa Designs featured in the summer edition of the Aspen Institute's IDEAS Magazine - read their stories on the Aspen IDEAS blog
  • Join the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, Andean Textile Arts, and weaving organizations from around the world at the 2017 TINKUY conference; register online today
  • Throughout Latin America, more artisan businesses are turning to natural dyes. Read more in The New York Times
  • Learn more about Indego Africa's work with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to empower Burundian refugees in Rwanda's Mahama Refugee Camp through vocational and educational training, now featured on ONE Campaign
  • Water hyacinth threatens natural ecosystems and people's livelihoods in more than 50 countries. Learn how MitiMeth Handcrafted Home Decor and Personal Accessories is tackling this issue in Nigeria through artisan enterprise - now on the Alliance blog
  • As founder of Proud Mary, Harper Poe works with artisan makers around the world to bring their goods to global markets. Learn more about Harper's inspiration and vision for Proud Mary in a new interview with Ann Taylor

Did we miss something? Email gina.rogari@aspeninst.org with updates from your organization to be featured in next month's letter.

Get connected!

The heart of the Alliance community is our network of artisan businesses, social enterprises, non-profits, and more - over 140 active members! Visit our updated member directories and get in touch with Alliance members working across the globe. Find a full list of members here

Check out the full Member Portal (password: alliance2012) to access member directories, host an Artisan Innovation Workshop session, apply for the Artisan Loan Program, explore upcoming events, read past newsletters and more!

Header photo from Heshima Kenya