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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. 

Twelve Artisan Entrepreneurs Showcased at TEDWomen 2016


Twelve Artisan Entrepreneurs Showcased at TEDWomen 2016

Gina Rogari

The artisan sector is the second largest employer in the developing world, yet it is overlooked and under-resourced by traditional development efforts. This October, the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise and twelve extraordinary artisan entrepreneurs took the TED stage to show the world why the artisan sector matters. October 26-27, the Alliance featured 12 artisan entrepreneurs in San Francisco at the Global Showcase, an immersive experience of people, place and product curated exclusively for TEDWomen - the premier women's conference in the world! 


The theme of the 2016 TEDWomen conference was "It's About Time." We agree! It's about time policymakers, investors, and influencers around the world recognize the impact of the artisan economy. Do you believe #ItsAboutTime we #ChooseArtisan? Share your messages on social media, and follow the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter


The 12 artisan businesses that participated in the TEDWomen Global Showcase represent the amazing diversity, commitment, and impact of the entire Alliance for Artisan Enterprise community. Together, they employ over 6,300 artisans, support tens of thousands of family members, and have rediscovered hundreds of ancient techniques across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Explore all twelve of their stories, crafts, and cultures


At the Global Showcase, attendees explored and shopped an exclusive collection of handcrafted products, including woven textiles, beaded jewelry, and embroidered accessories. Did you miss this year's conference? Shop the showcase online:

  1. Gahaya Links | traditional handwoven Agaseke baskets
  2. Heshima Kenya | hand-dyed scarves and textiles
  3. ROOTS of South Sudan | hand-beaded jewelry
  4. Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco | handwoven clothing, homeware and other textiles
  5. Manos del Uruguay | handwoven textiles and yarn
  6. Mercado Global | handwoven accessories and homeware
  7. Paula Mendoza | handcrafted gold and emerald jewelry
  8. TRIA ETC | handcrafted accessories, jewelry, and homeware
  9. Fibre Tibet | hand-spun and handwoven scarves and textiles
  10. Kandahar Treasure | traditional Khamak embroidery
  11. Turquoise Mountain | handcrafted jewelry, painted  and traditional woodworking
  12. Yawanawa Handicrafts Initiative | hand-beaded jewelry telling stories of indigenous people


The Global Showcase was made possible through the generous support of the Artisan Partners Circle. We are so thankful for your efforts to increase the visibility of artisan entrepreneurs across the globe. Are you looking to get more involved with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise? Learn more about the Global Showcase here, or email Gina Rogari at with questions or partnership requests. Artisan businesses, support organizations, and others, consider becoming a member of the Alliance community today!