Celebrating Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy Forum
Date: Thursday, September 10, 2015
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT
Location: The U.S. Department of State
On September 10, 2015, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell hosted artisans, investors, policy makers, and representatives from business and civil society for a forum on how to scale the impact of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. The Alliance is a global platform to promote artisan businesses, with a specific focus on women artisans and their families, their economic impact, and their preservation of cultural heritage.
World exports of artisan goods are worth $32 billion a year, and tens of millions of people in the developing world, largely women, participate in the artisan sector.
Artisan enterprise does more than create jobs and income. It also fosters economically viable communities, sustains ancient traditions, and preserves culture that is essential for healthy and sustainable development.
But the artisan sector is extremely fragmented and under resourced. Globally artisans face many barriers: lack of access to finance and markets, inequitable supply channels, weak small business knowledge and skills, sourcing bottlenecks, and prohibitive shipping costs.
Everyone can play a role in supporting artisans. Policymakers and governments can work with the Alliance and elevate the artisan sector in their own countries. Investors and donors can support innovative projects and incorporate artisan goods into their value chains. And consumers can support the Global campaign and buy artisan goods.
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