Coaching and Assistance for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CASE) is ATA’s exit strategy from its past work to establish sustainable enterprises for the women weavers of Chiapas. Funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), the two-year CASE project will begin on May 1, 2016. CASE aims to strengthen family economic security, human development and quality of life for Mayan artisans in WKKF’s target regions, through production of quality handcraft that preserves local culture. CASE will achieve this by creating the conditions for independence and sustainability of artisan businesses, particularly for artisan groups at lower levels of development.
The specific objectives of CASE are:
1. Economic inclusion: business training and coaching sessions, new design trainings, and sewing and finishing workshops for low-level artisan groups. They participate in Mexican trade fairs and local selling events and develop new designs. Their products are represented at international trade fairs.
2. Capacity Building: Selected artisans master business finance skills, inventory management, raw materials purchasing, and quality control, and linkage to a Microfinance Institution.3. Promotion and branding: new, high quality products created through CASE from all groups carry the Kip Tik brand. This brand was created on recommendation by VSD Consultores during the previous project, with funding by others.
3. Promotion and branding: new, high quality products created through CASE from all groups carry the Kip Tik brand. This brand was created on recommendation by VSD Consultores during the previous project, with funding by others.
4. Transcending cultural restraints: Women artisans and male community members participate in gender based training events. Women begin to take greater responsibilities and are prepared to grow their artisan businesses on their own initiative, beyond the duration of CASE. Women use increased income for their children’s health, education, and the continued expansion of their businesses.
Accomplishments as of April 30, 2017
The program has succeeded on a multitude of levels, affecting the livelihoods and well-being of Mayan textile artisans and their families in 11 municipalities. So far it has:
- Supported 40 artisan groups, or 400 women directly;
- Generated almost $123,000 in sales, based directly on project activities locally and internationally;
- Allowed participation at NYNOW Aug 2016 and February 2017, the largest trade fair for artisan made goods in the US and at the Market Readiness Program.
- Developed over 400 news products
- Implemented its first Gender Workshop
- Linked the artisan groups to over 20 local fairs and 66 active buyers in America and Europe.
- Developed a strong local group of Mayan staff members, trainers and entrepreneurs who are committed to a career in the artisan sector of Chiapas, beyond the duration of CASE.
- Created a collaboration between individual artisans directly with over 1000 workshops across these villages.
Project Lead in US
Project Lead in Mexico
Maria-Eugenia Piñeda Melendez