International Bee (Empowering Textile Artisans)

International Bee (Empowering Textile Artisans)

Peru
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project's main goal is to bring together different mini textile artisans workshops that are currently producing apparel products and hire skilled people in needs (selection process will be apply with different tools such as the PPI survey Grameen foundation poverty index level measuring tool and detailed individual profile evaluation).
The project counts with 3 stages:
1. Develop an organized business that will count with basic machines to domestically manufacture laptop & iPad covers using traditional textiles (2 different designs using two types of laptop and iPad measurements are already being produced) Goal:50 artisans
2.Use organic cotton/wool from Peru as our main raw material & purchasing more machines
3.Process fair trade certification Goal: 1000+workers around all Peru

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

I was born and raise in Peru. My parents are from small villages and moved when I was a child to a town call Huancayo (through the history it is know as the capital of artisans and commercialization). Since little girl, I was working with my parents selling their products in fairs, walking to streets and saw how after many years, they were capable to rent a store to continue selling their products . Huancayo is a city that is growing economically, however the villages around it are continuing poor and have lack of opportunities. There is a lot of potential in the villages, since young age, they learn how to work making different artisans product but specially textiles. Many of the families are not capable to send their children to school so they train their kids to work in order to maintain the family. However, I believe I can provide an opportunity to many of these families. I personally know many artisans that through generations they are trying to maintain their small workshops. My work as a coordinator of the commission of social action in Huancayo, allowed me to become even closer to remote communities in Peru and to be able to learn and understand their needs. I want to fill those needs. There were many non-profit organizations that tried to bring support but their lack of cultural knowledge made them fail in their projects or not achieve their goals. I believe my experience, networking contacts and passion can make of this project a success.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Many textile artisans in Peru are not being educated on how much it should be fair to be pay for their products. Many times they get pay a lower amount of the cost of making the product (typically, they dont include labor cost). Also, many middle man business are taking advantage of this and purchasing large quantity of our artisan's products without paying them fairly. This situation is not letting our artisans to develop themselves and their businesses as well as improving their lives. There are a few companies in Peru manufacturing textiles hiring artisans but many of them dont focus on the development of their workers and instead they making more money through them. Others, are start paying attention on their social impact to their communities and start developing projects trying to help their worker's family however there is not one company that have an organized data of their worker's profile to be share with their clients or any type of measurement that can show their impact on their worker's lives. Therefore, I am trying to develop a business that will count with tools to measure our impact on each of our workers. Through this, I will be able to drive my business meeting my workers needs as well as my clients needs. Our clients can benefit from our database containing our workers profiles to be able to share with their buyers, the impact that they can create if they purchase their products. We are going to be able to work closely with our clients to provide any information needed with the highest technology available (online aps, website, database)
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

1. Selection process (our hiring process will focus on hiring people with higher level of poverty (we will use different international well know tools to determinate the poverty level of the workers) 2.We will continue monitor the professional and individual development of our workers and their families (to measure how our business is improving their lives through our different empowering programs) 3. We will create online aps and online databases/tools in our website that will contain our worker's profiles. This could be share to our clients (through the consent of the artisans) so it can be use for buyers to know who made the product that its being purchased and/or to know how their contribution is helping improving our worker's lives.
About You
Organization:
International Bee
About You
First Name

Eva

Last Name

Atunga

Twitter
Facebook Profile
About Your Organization
Organization Name

International Bee

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

I was born and raise in Peru. My parents are from small villages and moved when I was a child to a town call Huancayo (through the history it is know as the capital of artisans and commercialization). Since little girl, I was working with my parents selling their products in fairs, walking to streets and saw how after many years, they were capable to rent a store to continue selling their products. I left my job as a teacher when my community was affected by the terrorism. At that point, I decided to work for human rights and joined as a Coordinator of the Commision of Social Action, where I developed social work with 500 migrant families, in need of receiving protective services from terrorist groups, providing social, health, educational dwelling support, and actions to reduce exposure, mitigate risks. Also, I coordinated plans and social services with Junin authorities, non-profit organizations and community organizations to build coalition that addressed issues regarding family by providing an efficient flow of information between groups. I authored several published newspaper articles regarding the situation of the migrant population due to political violence. I used family therapy techniques to help low self-esteem refugees; taught about parent coaching, domestic violence, counseling, behavioral problems. It was a point where my life was threatened and that was when I got an offer for political asylum but I rejected and continued working for my community.
Thereupon, I worked as Regional Director of Education (Integral prevention and Director of Personnel.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

1- Hiring Selection Process: Our main goal is to hire skilled people with higher poverty level ( We are going to make use of tools such as development of a detailed profile, and individual surveys. Also we will determiante the level of poverty by making use of the international well know survey called PPI-Progress out of Poverty Index ( http://www.grameenfoundation.org/press-releases/grameen-foundation-devel...™-ppi™)
2. We will invest in basic machines for our business as well as see the possibility to provide non interest loans to remore mini workshops for them to work
3.We will continue survey our workers to evaluate the impact we are making in their lifes and learn more about their needs and opportunities of improvement
4. We will build a website for our clients as well as containing a simple database with our workers profiles and continually updating it
5. We will develop aps for mobile phone with our workers profile and information on the development of our project
6. We will invite and host events to train our workers about the new market trends in order to empower them and motivate them to get involve in our business

How many people have been impacted by your project?

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

1,001-10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Year 1: Develop an organized business that will count with basic machines to domestically manufacture laptop & iPad covers using traditional textiles (2 different designs using two types of laptop and iPad measurements are already being produced) Goal: Hiring and training of 50 artisans
Year 2 : Use organic cotton/wool from Peru as our main raw material & purchasing more machines. Goal: Hiring 100 artisans + provide work to small workshops in small villages
3.Process fair trade certification and Goal: 1000+workers around all Peru

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

One of the biggest barriers is to run the business from USA. I am currently working in USA in order to have the money to sustain the project. This is the biggest challenge but my plan is to work from Peru if we can get the funding and start the business formally. In our first year, our main focus will be the hiring process and the purchasing of key machines to make of the artisans work more efficient. Our goal is to produce enough to by the end of the first year being able to sustain the business itself. We will also focus on the selling of our products online as well as building partnerships outside of Peru,who will be interest on buying/selling our products. The plan is to use reliable international tools that will help in determinate the level of poverty of our workers as well as technology that will contribute to build our site and the database that contains our worker's profiles.
By the second year, our challenge will be to growth including organic Peruvian cotton and wool in order to attract more buyers and make profit and make enough money to invest in more machines and training.
Our plan is to build a close partnering with organic cotton farmers and wool producers in order to have a competitive advantage regarding price and quality (having our suppliers closer to us).
By the third year, our goal is to have more than 1000+ workers around Peru who produce our products. This is an ambitious goal but we believe that if we follow an organized business model and make use of online technology that communicates and storage the updates of our worker's profiles since the beginning of our business, we will be able to achieve this goal.

Tell us about your partnerships

Currently its me and my daughter who are working in this project. However, we received feedback from many people and organizations in USA that are interest in our project.

Explain your selections

Currently, I am using my own money as well as my daughter money to pay a few artisans in Huancayo to make and ship samples to us to USA. We are showing our samples to many businesses and people to receive feedback. Based on the latest feedbacks, we were able to come up with two models for our laptop & I-Pad covers. In addition, people like the quality of our products and they are interested to see more products besides laptop and I-Pad covers.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

If I am able to get my project be funded by this competition, I will be able to work directly with the artisans in Peru. Due to my current financial constraints, I am force to work in USA in order to sustain my project in Peru. However, if I am able to get more funding, I will be able to work from Peru and start organizing the business and the hiring selection process.

Challenges
Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Inadequate transparency

SECONDARY

Restrictive cultural norms

TERTIARY

Other (Specify Below)

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

Inadequate Transparency:
1. Our individual survey and the Grameen PPI survey will help us to determinate the poverty index of the workers we are going to hire instead of assuming poverty.
2. Our website, database and mobile aps will contain our workers profiles and will be continuing updated in order for people to see the impact in their lives.
3. Our goal for the third year is to become fair trade certified which means to invest on international auditing that will be able to provide a transparent picture of our business

Restrictive Cultural Norms:
Many factories in Peru are limiting hiring only their family members and/or friends. We want to break that cultural rule and implement a reliable selection hiring process. We will not limit our hiring selection to be only women.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

SECONDARY

Grown geographic reach: Multi-country

TERTIARY

Grown geographic reach: Global

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

1.Now that we have selected our two product designs, we will contact the workshops that provided the samples and start putting orders to evaluate the quality of their production in higher volumes. We'll be able to determinate the type of machines/tools needed to meet the quality desire.
2.We will survey each of the workers of the workshops to start building the online profiles as well as to implementing the PPI Grameen surveys to determinate the level of poverty.
3. We will start our hiring selection process
4. We will send our samples to many businesses that showed interest in buying our products and contact new clients
5. We will continue working in our online sales moving from Etsy to our own website
6. We will build an online database & run our project through Manymoon

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Technology providers, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

The Grameen Fundation (Progress out of poverty tool), Market Forms web developer it's willing to build our site and mobile aps for us for a minimum cost. The Ohio State University-Business Builders Club provided $500 for a third place idea pitch competition winner.