Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
In Rwanda, most rural families live on a farm and eat off of their land. As a result, a women's role in the household is multi-faceted. She needs to care for the children, tend to the crops, prepare meals, and, if there is time, provide an income to the family. Due to the vast amount of work required in caring for the farm, when children become of age and strength to help out, they always do. Unfortunately, this often results in the child dropping out of school to help out at home. One of our artisans, was determined to keep her daughter in school. Through working with us, she was able to provide enough supplemental income for her family, that she could hire someone to help on the farm, allowing her daughter to continue her studies.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
We started with a group of 24 artisans, and within 6 months, we are now working with 102 artisans. Through our training programs, we have enabled our artisan partners to: 1) establish their first bank accounts, 2) keep their children in school and not working on the farm because of their supplemental income 3) understand the true value of their products and identify the correct price they should be paid for their work. By focusing on education, we are enabling our artisans to change the cycle of the next generation. As we grow, we know there is more potential for hundreds, and thousands of women to join us. There are hundreds of non-profits around the world working directly the artisan groups. The missing link is the design sense, which is where we excel. We will continue to work with new groups, teaching them about desirable product for US consumers, while also creating jobs.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Moving forward, this strategy has the potential to work globally. Currently, we've seen it successful in Guatemala, Rwanda, Mexico and India. There is potential for this to scale across other artisan driven developing nations, with support on the ground in each location. The key driver will be hands on training programs to initiate artisans into the group, and making sure we grow our artisans only as we scale the demand side of the business.