Total loan: $7,000
Denver, CO, United States / Arts
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Rachel's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped launch our artisan training program in Ghana, prototype and order new products from small groups of women, and ramp up for trade shows around the United States.
When we got the idea for WPMarket, we had been working in international development with a focus on women's economic development for over decade. Through our work, we continually saw women coming together in small groups to make basic artisan products in hopes they could sell them and use the additional money for their families, often for food or school fees. It was instrumental in helping to break generational poverty. Thus, we started WPMarket to provide these artisans groups more access to markets and to build their local capacity, believing that local leadership is best. As it stands, most small groups like this are un-served by the fair trade movement. We quickly evolved to helping these groups across the value-chain, helping them to design more fashion-forward products. Finally, recognizing that poverty is complex and that money is often not enough, we also began offering artisans business + life skills and/or make sure they receive this type of wrap around support through other partners. The women were thirsty for this information, absorbing and applying it quickly. A defining moment for us was realizing that this was a social enterprise that could actually work. Our goal is to have a revolving fund that trains artisans, makes + sells products, and uses a portion of profit to train other groups so they can stand on their feet. Another priority for us to continue working groups that really need our support and to focus on those countries that you don't see many fair trade products from like Bosnia, the DRC, Mali, Syria, Jordan, etc.