Reimagining the Potential of the Artisan Sector

Reimagining the Potential of the Artisan Sector

Last spring as shut downs were imposed to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus, artisan enterprises were severely impacted by canceled production orders, workshop closures, limited availability of raw materials and skyrocketing transportation costs. As these and other economic dislocations impacted our partners as well as our own operations, we needed to adjust and assess what we could do to alleviate the disruption both in the near term and for an uncertain future.  

In an effort to feel less overwhelmed, we invited friends and colleagues to join us for a series of conversations around what changes we needed to see in the artisan sector to accomplish our goals and to help sustain our partners. Those discussions evolved into a program submission for the Social Capital Markets Virtual conference:  The New Frontier of Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment: Reimagining the Potential of the Artisan Sector.  

Two additional initiatives came together as our planning and discussions evolved over the summer: one with Athena Global Alliance to invest in their BIDUK Indonesia lending program, and the other with Realize Impact to establish the Realize Impact-Sprout Enterprise Artisan Fund (R.I.S.E. Artisan) to support small and early-stage artisan enterprises with the potential to grow.

We will be highlighting our collaborators in developing these initiatives here, and offering you access to additional programming developed in our spring discussions.  We are also asking for your support. 

Explore our portfolio of impact opportunities. We invite you to invest your philanthropic and investment capital in these opportunities. To learn more, or to be introduced to these enterprises, please contact Ellen Fish at

We'd like to thank the many individuals who joined our conversations, shared their insight and experiences and are working with us to craft new strategies for the road ahead: 

Priya Krishnamoorthy, 200 Million Artisans

Nureen Das, The Artesan Gateway

Dr. Audrey Selian, Artha Impact

Rashmi Bharti, Avani

Annie Waterman, AOW Handmade

Mireia Lopez, Blinded By Color Project

Karen Gibbs, By Hand Consulting

Colvin English, By Hand Consulting

Ana Paula Fuentes, CADA Foundation

Kirsten White, CoDesign Abroad

Kythzia Barrera, Colectivo 1050º

Luciana Jabur, DEED Lab, Parsons

Cynthia Lawson Jamarillo, DEED Lab, Parsons

Luni Libes, Fledge

Afshan Abbas, Fuchsia Shoes

Sahar Ghaheri, Grey Area Collective

Keith Recker, HAND/EYE Magazine

Hemendra Sharma, Kala Swaraj Foundation

Petra Valentocá, Imprinted Story

Smita Paul, Indigo Handloom

Neelam Chhiber, Industree Foundation, Mother Earth

Eliza Barbarczy, Itza Wood

Mary-Moore Cathcart, Kitchen + Goods

Heather O’Neill, Mushmina

Joellen Nicholson, Nicholson Consulting

Juhi Pandey, Nila House

Hedvig Alexander, Powered By People

Richa Agarwal, Pratt

Victoria Kirk-Owal, Protagonist Studio

Harper Poe, Proud Mary

Sreejith Nedumpally, Rope International

Sonica Sarna, Sonica Sarna Design

Ellen Fish, Sprout Enterprise®

Tanvi Bikhchandani, Tamarind Chutney

Charanya Shekar, Tamarind Chutney

Rachel Faller, tonlé

Nivedita Rai,  WomenWeave

Salime Harp Cruces, Xaquixe