Creating sustainable jobs with artisans • After five years of working in Gulu, Uganda we are currently building long-term solutions with families living in extreme poverty through a multi-dimensional approach.
We have developed personal relationships and are partnered with eleven local artisan businesses in Southern and Northern Uganda. After intentional research and discussions with these businesses, together we developed industry training, creative workshops, mentoring, and business consulting. Artisan Global acts as a catalyst by covering costs for sewing machines, new materials, and resources that allow for the businesses to expand in country and internationally.
The Artisan Global Entrepreneur Program allows for an accelerated learning and an alternate route to employment for individuals who are economically disadvantaged. Our Entrepreneur Program provides mentorship, business training, and covers the cost of the supplies to provide a new dignified work opportunity for an Artisan. Since Fall of 2018, Artisan Entrepreneurs have led and participated in workshops and mentorships of Basket Weaving, Business Management, Yoga/Wellness, Fashion Design/Tailoring and more!
The Artisan Workspace is a new concept created to provide a multi-purpose space for impact, innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently, we have contracted a local architect and purchased one acre of land to begin construction in 2019. Led by a local team of professional architects, contractors, and experts in the field, the model of the Artisan Workspace was built through years of intentional research and community relationships. Through every step of this process, the Artisan Workspace is being collaboratively designed with the community’s invaluable input.
The workspace we are fundraising for was sustainably designed by a local architect, Emma Mugisha, to include a creative design studio, innovative media lab, vocational business programs, wellness studio and co-working space.
Once built, the Artisan Workspace can provide over 100 job opportunities in Gulu.
We work with existing artisan businesses, such as Artisan Apparel Uganda, to recognize new opportunities, improve structures and develop sustainable solutions. The industry training we offer help artisan businesses implement self-sustainable plans and rapidly increases employment in communities. We are implementing industry workshops in various areas. For example, a basket weaving workshop led by a local expert, Phionah, allowed an opportunity for sustainable income as an instructor as well as a new skill to generate income for the artisans.
We are currently developing new workshops hosted by local experts in media, loom weaving, fashion design, and other professions.
We are committed to developing regional and international partnerships to ensure the brands and artisan businesses we work with have access to consistent and sustainable work. We develop partnerships that promote above fair wages, ethical working conditions and full collaboration with the artisans.
After years of established relationships, Artisan Global serves as a loyal bridge to connect local vetted artisan partners to retail industry partners regionally and internationally. To date, we have established seven international market partnerships. By expanding the market potential for each artisan business we work with we are able to decrease the country’s unemployment rate one artisan at a time.
The current unemployment rate in Uganda is estimated to be around 10 million people (Uganda National Census) and we are dedicated to developing sustainable solutions and strategies with locals to address this challenge.