Social enterprise is essentially capitalism with a conscience. Global Women Artisans features Social Entrepreneurs who bring economically disadvantaged women’s art work and crafts to larger markets. We see social entrepreneurs as one of the foremost catalysts affecting real social change for these women because larger markets mean increased sales. Increased sales mean a greater sense of self reliance and empowerment. Self reliance and empowerment fosters ambition, hope, hard work and a lifeline out of poverty.
By now most are familiar with the term “Fair Trade.” The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a Washington DC-based nonprofit trade association that is committed to certifying and promoting businesses that are fully committed to the principles of fair trade. To be certified, a business has to prove it’s paying the artisans a fair price and that the process of manufacturing any given product is not harmful to the worker or their environment. This is a federation that is long overdue in coming and thankfully, is finally here. But I mention the Fair Trade Federation to make a point about social entrepreneurs and GWA.
“Paying artists a fair wage should be a given.” I’m quoting a WorldPulse article because there’s no better way to say it. World Pulse is a global media and communication network devoted to bringing women a global voice. In this article titled, Made by Hand: Crafting a Global Movement, it suggests trying, “…to support organizations that also provide training for artisans or offer programs that transform a fair wage into community empowerment.”
Global Women Artisans features social entrepreneurs who go beyond fair trade to create community empowerment. Laga Handbags for instance offers their artisans a training program and fair wages. We have seen that in societies where women are empowered, economies are stronger, civility thrives and political institutions are more open and free. GWA features social enterprisers with the hopes that these business men and women will inspire other entrepreneurs to work for a better world as they have, by working for the double bottom line of doing good and doing well simultaneously.