Sprout Enterprise® works with artisan enterprises in rural communities in emerging markets which lack adequate access to markets or capital due in part to their remote locations or limited resources.
We help the entrepreneurs in our network build more prosperous businesses that create richer economic opportunities in these remote regions by providing a platform for access to markets, capital and appropriate resources for business expansion.
Maharashtra in west central India is one of the most developed states in India. In medieval times, the region was ruled by the Marathas, the Hindu warrior group credited to a large extent for ending Mughal rule India, that later lost to the British culminating in rule by the British East India Company. One of the Marathi rulers, Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar, was a great builder of temples and patron of the arts who established the textile industry in Maheshwar.
In Maharashtra, we partner with WomenWeave, a charitable trust based in Maheshwar with the goal to make weaving a profitable and sustainable income-earning activity for women in rural India. More than 100 women earn income through WomenWeave's programs in central India.
Rajasthan is literally the land of kings. Rajput dynasties ruled the region for centuries, and their magnificent palaces and forts, now luxury hotels and museums, dot the region. Arts and crafts nurtured through the patronage of the maharajas endure to this day. Block printers in traditional centers of block printing, like Bagru and Sanganer, continue the craft passed down father to son for generations.
In Rajasthan, we partner with Hatheli Sansthan, the artisan enterprise based in Tilonia, launched by the Barefoot College. Nearly 400 artisans earn an income from the manufacture of Tilonia® artisan products.
Tamil, the official language of Tamil Nadu, is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. The earliest manuscripts from India were written in Tamil and date back more than 2,000 years. A rich tradition of literature, art, music, dance and architecture continues to this day. Medieval Hindu temples, now World Heritage Sites, are "living temples" at the heart of southern cities, like Madurai.
In Tamil Nadu, we partner with ROPE Enterprise which creates employment for more than 1,000 skilled artisans. ROPE has pioneered the use of local agricultural waste, banana fiber, as a core material in its home decor and home furnishing products. We represent ROPE at US trade shows and market their line to US buyers.
Known as Dev Bhoomi, land of the gods, the diverse terrain of Uttrakhand ranges from steamy lowland jungles to soaring Himalayan peaks. Twisting roads and walking trails lead to high-altitude pilgrimage sites where tales from the Hindu epics are set.
In this northern state of India, we partner with Avani to help market Avani handwoven, wild silk textiles in the US. Avani includes a network of nearly 800 artisans and farmers who work together to grow, process, design and create products that generate income for local residents.
West Bengal has a rich heritage of handloom weaving, and produces some of the finest varieties of cotton and silk sarees in the country. Every district has weaving clusters, each specializing in specific varieties of handloom weaving.
In this eastern state of India, we're partnering with Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD) to provide seed funding for the Rabha Women Weavers initiative.
From temperate mountainous highlands to steamy rainforests to plains along the coast lines, the geography of Chiapas is as varied as its people and their culture. A rich tradition of weaving continues in indigenous communities proximate to regional market centers like the colonial city, San Cristobal de las Casas.
In Chiapas, we partner with El Camino de Los Altos (ECLA), a collective of 130 Mayan women who weave using the traditional, pre-Hispanic, back-strap loom. Based in San Cristobal, ECLA includes weavers from seven Mayan communities in the surrounding highland region.
The Amuzgo are one of 60 indigenous communities in Mexico. Only two communities of 40,000 Amuzgo live today in Guerrero and Oaxaca. Known as "people of the loom", the Amuzgo are well known for fine textiles using native coyuche cotton.
In this southern state of Mexico, we partner with La Flor de Xochistlahuaca, a cooperative of 25 Amuzgo women founded in 1969 by Florentina Lopez de Jesus, a grand master of traditional weaving and folk art of Guerrero.
Zapotecs and Mixtecs are among the dozen or more indigenous communities in the southern state of Oaxaca. Archeological sites dot the region and Spanish colonial churches anchor town plazas. Lack of economic opportunities beyond subsistence agriculture has resulted in significant migration from Oaxaca. Many leave rural areas for cities in Mexico or the US.
In Oaxaca, we parter with Studio Xaquixe, a glassblowing studio which has trained and employs youth from the local community to produce glassware from recycled glass. We represent Studio Xaquixe at US trade shows and market their glassware to US buyers.