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Arts & Culture, Aid, Poverty
We create opportunities for low-income artisans around the world to build profitable businesses inspired by handmade traditions. We offer access to new markets, business training, eco-effective processes and design innovation through a network of partners to promote sustainable growth and community well-being.
Aid to Artisans (ATA), an international nonprofit organization, is a recognized leader in economic development for the craft sector. By linking artisans to new markets and buyers to culturally meaningful and innovative products, ATA provides needed economic opportunities to artisans to build profitable craft businesses.
In its thirty years Aid to Artisans (ATA) has changed the lives of thousands of artisans through its “Market Link” program of product design, production and business skills. In developing countries, handcrafts continue to provide an important source of income, especially in rural areas and especially for women.
Through ATA and its Trade Network, artisan groups around the world have become self-sustaining. Because ATA's goal is to link the artisans to markets, we provide assistance in all stages of that process, including product development and design, business development, market entry, and working with clients.
Artisans working with ATA have sold their products through many recognized outlets such as:
ATA helps artisans develop the business skills they need to produce products that will sell in competitive and changing world markets. We match artisans with international and local consultants who have long experience in market-oriented product design. These consultants work directly with artisan entrepreneurs and help them modify existing products or develop new ones that build on local traditions and materials while appealing to the larger marketplace. We also work carefully to develop pricing structures that balance the need for a fair, productive wage with the marketplace competition.
The products ATA brings into U.S. and European markets are market-ready and available to wholesalers or retailers who then establish lasting relationships with artisan producers. One of the most valuable resources ATA brings to artisan groups is its ability to connect them directly to buyers and importers. ATA exhibits artisan products in New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, and Johannesburg. ATA recruits importers and large scale retailers for these well-designed and competitively priced home furnishings and accessories. Often ATA literally brings buyers directly to artisans by hosting periodic buyers' trips to the countries in which we work. ATA also offers information about and access to the vast and growing internet market.
ATA also supports artisans through the ATA Grants Program and has made approximately 40 grants per year for over thirty years to artisan groups around the world. Government agencies and private foundations find it difficult and time-consuming to administer grants in small denominations. These small grants are often critical in giving a jump-start to entrepreneurial artisan groups.
Click here to watch how ATA makes a difference, and check back each month for a new video from the field appearing on ATA's YouTube Channel.
Since our founding in 1976, we have worked in over 110 countries uniting a global community of artisans, organizations, development experts, retailers, design industry leaders, business trainers, and supporters. Over 30,000 artisans a year participate in our programs.
We do not work alone. In addition to partnering with businesses and organizations to implement our services and ensure sustainability for artisans, we rely on the generous support of a range public and private sector partners and many individuals for funding.