Support for the world's most untapped start-up community
The artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth over $32 billion every year. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, particularly women, participate in the artisan sector. Artisan activity creates jobs, increases local incomes, and preserves ancient cultural traditions that in many places are at risk of being lost.
Globally, the artisan sector is significant and growing - international trade in artisan goods more than doubled between 2002 and 2012. Over 65% of artisan activity takes place in developing economies. Still, artisan businesses are seldom recognized as drivers of economic growth. The majority of artisans served are women and small producers working informally. Artisan entrepreneurs lack access to the tools and resources needed to succeed in the global marketplace. Artisans work in isolated environments, without business skills, market access, and the financial tools needed to boost production and sales.
The Artisan Alliance, an initiative of the Aspen Global Innovators Group at the Aspen Institute, works to unlock economic value in the artisan sector. The Alliance collaborates with key partners, including Kiva and the U.S. Department of State's Office of Global Women's Issues, to develop resources that support the sustainable growth of artisan businesses.
Join the Artisan Alliance as we design and implement support systems for artisan businesses, including:
- Networking platform for organizations around the world that participate across the artisan sector, including artisan businesses, social enterprises, NGO's, government agencies, and others
- Innovative financing programs for artisan entrepreneurs to access much-needed capital
- Artisan Business Coaching programs to support the sustainable development of locally-owned artisan businesses
- Key events to showcase artisan entrepreneurs, share best practices, and uncover solutions to common barriers in the artisan value chain
We envision a world in which artisans are fully integrated into global commerce and where increasing revenues flow to artisan producers and communities in need of economic opportunity. Get involved! Download our fact sheet, join our member network, donate to support our programs, and contact us for additional information.