If you want to have a successful artisan business, you need to think beyond the craft and product. Learning about marketing, accounting, management, and more is needed for success! This is something that the youth from the Resilience Through Craft project in Burkina Faso learned during their internships last month.
Over the span of 10 days, 37 trainees attended internships at GAFREH in Bobo Dioulasso and Association Kogl-taaba de Koudougou (CAF) in Koudougou. During the internship, each trainee chose a function within the business they wanted to learn more about. Whether they wanted to learn about a specific aspect of artisanry, such as weaving, sewing, or cutting, or growing their business skills by focusing on accounting, ecommerce, or marketing, they were paired up with a master artisan who they shadowed for the duration of their internship. After the internship experience, Sanou Pai Sandrine, a sewing cutting trainee at GAFREH shared:
“I used to be able to sew clothes but not bags, but now I’m happy to be able to produce bags and wallets.”
Taking it one step further, the trainees put their knowledge into action by assisting the master artisans at tradeshows. In one instance, 2 marketing and 1 accounting trainee assisted the master artisans from GAFREH to sell products during the Eco Foot fair in Bobo Dioulasso. All participants put their skills to the test, helping the artisans sell their products and set up the booths. What better way to learn than by putting your knowledge into action!
Resilience Through Craft is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with Creative Associates International (Creative) and their partner, Lutheran World Relief (LWR).