A Look Back at January 2024

Tradeshows are excellent opportunities to network with buyers and fellow entrepreneurs, especially at the start of the year. However, to ensure a successful show, thorough preparation is key. As you delve into our January highlights, we hope you enjoy reading about the unique tradeshow experiences of people from all corners of the globe.

Youth in Burkina Faso Attended Their First Tradeshow in Koudougou

From January 26-27th, 2024, 12 youth participants of our Resilience Through Craft Project in Burkina Faso attended the International Cotton and Textile Fair (SICOT) in Koudougou for the first time! Accompanied by our local coordinator in country and the master artisans from GAFREH in Bobo-Dioulasso and the Centre d’Animation Féminin of the Association Kogl-Taaba (CAF) in Koudougou, the young people learned about preparing and attending a tradeshow firsthand.

Before the show, the youth worked with master artisans of supporting organizations to create products that were shown at SICOT. In the coming months, the youth will continue learning how to craft unique bags, pillows, and accessories, and continue to grow their knowledge and passion for craft. Stay tuned to learn more!

Pictured: Exhibiting youth from CAF with funder representatives (top left), CAF Youth speaking with a potential English customer (bottom left), GAFREH and CAF stands at SICOT (bottom center), 4 Youth from GAFREH (bottom right).

One-on-One Coaching Sessions with Entrepreneurs Attending NY NOW

Want in on a little secret? The key to having a successful tradeshow experience is in the preparation and research before you step foot in the exhibition space. In preparation for the NY NOW Winter Show in February, 6 entrepreneurs from Uganda, Ethiopia and Lesotho participated in one-on-one coaching sessions between December 2023 and January 2024.

During these sessions, entrepreneurs discussed communication strategies, preparation of marketing materials, product design, costing, pricing, and more with our experts, Dondrill Glover and Nathalie Tancrede, and Lauren Barkume, Aid to Artisans Training Director.

We took an extra step to ensure they were ready for the show by having each entrepreneur join the How to Prepare for an International Tradeshow course on Artisan Business Lab. This was followed by Q&A sessions held via Zoom where entrepreneurs and consultants discussed what they have been learning and doing to prepare for the upcoming show.

Hosaena Getahun of Ze’el Clothes shared:

“I had my first Zoom meeting with Dondrill and I had the opportunity to showcase my new products for her. So, she provided me with helpful and great feedback [on which products I should bring to the show].”

Next stop for these 6 entrepreneurs is the NY NOW Winter Show from February 4-7, 2024! This coaching program was sponsored by Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada).

Stay tuned to learn how the NY NOW show went for these 6 businesses!

Pictured: Tooro Gallery – Uganda (top right), Ze’el Clothes – Ethiopia (bottom left), Meron Addis Ababa – Ethiopia (bottom center), Pasa Productions – Lesotho (bottom right)

ATA Mexico Held its First Municipal Health Forum in San Juan Cancuc

On January 18, 2024, the first Municipal Health Forum was held in San Juan Cancuc, Mexico as part of our Building Spaces for Dialogue in San Juan Cancuc Project. The 99 participants came together to discuss and share health issues existing in their communities and learn more about community medical actors and resources that are available to support their communities.

San Juan Cancuc is an isolated rural municipality, where many indigenous communities speak Tzeltal, not Spanish. This forum was unique, having been presented in their native language. Participant groups created “problem trees,” which revealed priority issues affecting individuals, communities and neighborhoods. The problem trees also sparked discussions around the causes and consequences of these health problems.

Nurses and midwives shared their perspectives on the role of women in health, the importance of prenatal care, and how local people can more effectively use the Mexican healthcare system. The groups also discussed solutions for common illnesses. The forum promoted a better understanding of the illnesses that affect the people of San Juan Cancuc and what resources are needed to better deal with them.

Pictured: Beneficiary filling out questionnaire after the event (top left), beneficiaries presenting their problem trees (bottom left), beneficiaries having their problem tree reviewed by the health leaders (bottom center), beneficiaries presenting their problem trees (bottom right).

Join the 2024 eMarket Readiness Program

Want to bring your products to new markets? Want to learn from handmade industry experts? Want to know what US buyers have to say? Interested in building connections with entrepreneurs around the world? The eMarket Readiness Program is for you!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2024 eMarket Readiness Program (eMRP) is open! We have heard your feedback and have extended the program from 4 days to 5 days of live, online, intensive training! Save years of headache in just 5 days when you join the eMRP from September 9-13, 2024. Join fellow entrepreneurs in learning directly from handmade industry experts on all topics related to what it takes to run a successful, international handmade business.

Learn more about the program by visiting our online education platform, Artisan Business Lab HERE.

What’s Coming in February?

Artisan Business Lab hosted a webinar with Morin George-Douglas of TAMAYO. Stay tuned to see what we learned!

-After attending one-on-one coaching sessions, 6 artisan entrepreneurs from Ethiopia, Lesotho and Uganda, sponsored by Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada), attended the NY NOW Winter Market.  Learn how coaching helped them.

-The youth in Burkina Faso will work with master artisans to develop a stock of new products in preparation for other fairs. Stay tuned to see their designs!

Pictured: Beneficiary presenting her problem tree during the Municipal Health Forum in San Juan Cancuc, Mexico