AIACA’s Enterprise Support Program (ESP) addresses challenges faced by craft businesses and enterprises in establishing and running viable businesses.Craft based producer groups and enterprises across India work with skilled artisans and weavers and make products which have great commercial potential. However, they face several challenges in managing enterprises and making them sustainable. Such challenges include inability to access resources, information, and professional expertise required to manage and scale up their business operations that impact sustainable enterprise growth and development. AIACA’s Enterprise Support Program is geared to address these challenges and aims to provide business development and capacity building solutions to craft based enterprises, thus promoting sustainable livelihoods for artisans.
Ongoing since 2006
Across 22 states of India
Craftmark members are eligible to receive support under ESP. The Craftmark is a certification programme designed and managed by AIACA that certifies genuine Indian handmade craft products produced in a socially responsible manner; develops sector-wide minimum standards and norms for labelling a product as a handicraft product; and increases consumer awareness of distinct handicraft traditions and tractability of the products from manufacturer to end consumer.
The Craftmark Certification programme is the only national certification in India on handmade craft processes that not only promotes authentic handmade processes but also encourages innovation in design and application, while keeping the authentic handmade process intact. Craftmark is linked to 100+ buyers in the domestic and international market including ecommerce platforms. It enables its members to access these markets and take advantage of economic opportunities through improved competitiveness. To know more about Craftmark.
Areas of support
ESP's areas of support seek to address issues related to production and product development, financial management, institutional and organizational design, technology upgrades and product presentation through marketing materials and product display.
Specifically, ESP provides support in the following areas, on a need basis:
- Marketing plan
- Marketing communication – website, catalogue, product tags, etc.
- Order management
- Visual merchandising for exhibitions and retail stores
- Representation in trade fairs
- Buyer linkages
- Production planning
- Quality control
- Costing & pricing
- Design development
- Book keeping
- Financial controls
- Information on tax issues
- Cash flow management
- Key financial indicators and monitoring tools
- Business Planning
- Institutional/Organization Design
Assessment of institutional framework
- Company registration - Producer Company, Mutually Aided Cooperatives, etc.
- Institutional audits – finance and process
- Staffing and compensation structure
- Legal and Statutory Compliance
- Tool up-gradation
- Low cost/eco-friendly technology
- Computer/internet training
The Enterprise Support Program has impacted lives of 20000 artisans spread across 22 states of India, so far. Several successful interventions have been carried out through capacity building and market linkages which have contributed towards sustainability of the enterprises and increased livelihood of artisans.
The Craftmark initiative is unique in bringing together skilled craft producers, NGOs, private producers, and cooperatives under a common umbrella. Craftmark has been successful in developing a brand identity for Indian handmade crafts as a whole thus promoting a common brand for thousands of artisans.