Training women artisans and future entrepreneurs

women, entrepreneurs, training, capacity, social change, artisans

Click to get an insider view of what we’re doing with women entrepreneurs in Bolivia!

In September, 2013, we launched our pilot training program in Bolivia.  Experienced trainer Fred Schick took 21 women textile artisans from Bolivia through five intense days of entrepreneurship training.  The goal of the unique program is to help women in poverty improve their ability to generate an income and support their families.  Women who are empowered and able to create revenue have been shown to have an important positive impact on their families and communities.

The training program focuses on two main areas the women need to build capacity in: product innovation and sales and marketing.  “The women are expert weavers, knitters, you-name-it, but they often don’t know where to start when it comes to developing new products,” says founder and executive director Jennifer Lonergan.  “They were thrilled to learn about basic design principles, for example, and about how to get inspiration for new designs.”

The women also learn about markets–how to analyze, segment and target markets, build relationships with potential buyers, solicit feedback and input on products, and incorporate knowledge about trends and customer desires into new products.

By the end of the training program, the women experienced a shift in how they saw themselves.  “After five days, they were self-identifying as businesswomen, entrepreneurs, leaders, community change-makers–it was an amazing transformation,” says Lonergan.

The graduates of Artistri Sud’s Social Entrepreneurship Training (ASSET) program go on to a year of coaching offered by the registered charity to keep them on target.  Participants are currently in the third month of the twelve-month program. You can learn more about the participants’ progress and results here.

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