Tag Archive: artisan


Todays Mantra: E-Bay

Take a breath. Inhale. Exhale.    E.    Bay.    E.    Bay.    Concentrate all your energy on listing items and providing a visually balanced storefront for your customers. Now focus on your goals for the next couple weeks. Try not to overwhelm yourself. Feel the excitement from the upcoming item photo shoot enter your heightened consciousness. Now list more items. Don’t forget your other mantra. Fair trade store.   Fair.   Trade.   Store. We want Beleza to flourish in the online atmosphere and continue to build its reputation as a Fair.   Trade.   Store.

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access to credit

For many artisans participating in fair trade, access to credit is unthinkable.  Or it was.  Dr. Mohammed Yunus, an economics professor in Bangladesh, started the first microcredit program.  He and his institution, the Grammen Bank, both won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Microcredit is a big step towards eradicating poverty and is an integral piece of sustainable human development.  Loans are very small; the average loans are worth $25-$250 for first time lenders.  This money helps people in developing countries buy supplies to make their crafts or materials for farming.

I just did a marketing project on Opportunity International, a large microcredit organization that is active in 15 countries.  They have a 98% repayment rate on their loans – higher than commercial loans.  How is this possible?  Lenders form trust groups of about 30 people.  They meet each week to make a payment on their loan.  If they don’t make a payment, the other members hold them accountable.  Imagine a woman has a sick child so she is unable to go to the market to sell her crafts.  She cannot make her weekly payment.  Someone in the trust group offers to look after her child so that she can sell her goods and then make her payment.  In effect, these loans help build community.  I’m reading Dr. Yunus’s book, “Banker to the Poor” to learn about how it all started.

Many of the products that are sold at Beleza start with a microloan.