Conshohocken, PA, 2016-Mar-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — “There is no better route out of poverty than the opportunity for people to have a decent job. At IKEA, it’s a privilege to be able to work with social entrepreneurs that are helping make society a little bit fairer.”- Steve Howard, IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer
IKEA supports women artisans in rural India by offering access to the global market. The social enterprises IKEA works with in India are managed and operated by women. Many of the more than 1,000 artisans are either shareholders or co-owners through self-help groups. Through these partnerships, IKEA is given the opportunity to work with skilled artisans in the Indian handicraft tradition and to contribute to social change. Together we design limited collections for sale in selected IKEA stores, enabling us to offer something really unique; handcrafted products from social enterprises whose main business goal is to change people’s lives for the better.
For women especially, a sustainable income opens up a world of new possibilities such as opening up a new bank account, being able to invest in their children – especially their daughter’s education. This also includes building their self-confidence and skills as artisans and businesswomen.
What is a social entrepreneur? A social entrepreneur uses business as a way to create social change. For social enterprises, business is good when people profit. The social enterprises IKEA works with in India are small scale producers of handcrafted products in the Indian handicraft tradition. These business enterprises are an additional livelihood to agriculture, which is the main source of income in rural areas of India. Managed and created by women, many of these artisans are either shareholders or co-owners through self-help groups.
IKEA works with Rangsutra and Industree in India who are engaging 1,100 local artisans to produce the IKEA collections. IKEA also works with Doi Tung in Thailand who engages 200 local artisans in the IKEA production. For smaller scale projects, IKEA has several local social entrepreneurs providing a single IKEA store with handmade products or services. IKEA has these collaborations with APIKRI in Indonesia, the Multicultural Refugee Coalition /Open Arms in the USA, Place de Bleu in Denmark and YallaTrappan in Sweden.
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