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online platform that will revitalize the organic handicraft tradition, stimulating social development of the refugees and host communities

Photo of inno s
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Due to mass produced and cheaply made products, the production of authentic handicrafts, specifically the art of traditional carpet weaving is declining, causing the erosion of the very practice of crafts. Our platform is a multifaceted business that is working to protect and promote the unique tradition of creating organic handicraft products. Our platform will be a market based solution to not only preserve this intangible cultural heritage but will also act as a catalyst for various social development indicators such as education and health. The target market is the international community, specifically Western consumers who desire traditional handicrafts and are economically able to afford authentic products. Within the Western market we have two target consumers: luxury buyers and philanthropic buyers. The segmentation of the handicrafts will be the traditional designs or the modern and contemporary designs, both hand produced. The beachhead market will be upper class and upper middle class Americans residing in the state of Texas. The goal is to expand to a similar market in the States and eventually in Europe. Our online platform from which the craftsmen can easily reach their target market. This would be done via a simple web platform such as WordPress and by partnering with a local web development company known as Webdesign. The website will be the location where the artisans in the community could post pictures of their crafts and utilize e commerce to gain profit. The educational aspect of the plan will allow for them to become independent as they learn to upload photos and sell their products to the Western world. We will also partner with the Cooperative, which operates facilities in where artisans are employed to make the handicrafts. In order to succeed, our marketing strategy will create brand desirability and target the proper demographics. We will market i products under the campaign of “Shop Local, Give Global.”

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The handcrafts live in the kigoma refugees camps and their host communities in Kigoma area.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

The business model centers around an online platform that will be utilized to market handmade products, especially carpets, by the people made at the cooperative. Through marketing to the West, the handicraft sector of the coop will gain substantial profit and no longer be at the verge of shutting down, revitalizing the weaving centers within the coops. Additionally, artisans in the settlement would be able to utilize the platform to market their handicrafts.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The handicraft producers are faced with variegated issues. Due to Chinese producers flooding the market with cheaply manufactured rugs, the art of traditional carpet weaving is declining. The economical situation is complicated by fact that the refugees and host communities are not able to purchase their own business retail space in settlements in Kigoma Tanzania. Therefore, their ability to conduct business is severely limited. Furthermore, the refugees and host communities are limited to the markets in the surrounding area and have no access to marketing their craft globally. A major problem is that the coop employs artisans to produce handcrafted carpets in the weaving centers within the coop but it is unable to provide them a substantial salary due to the fact that it has a limited market to sell to and cannot earn much profit itself.Consumers in western markets do not currently have the ability to support to community with the purchase of authentic goods.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

We will purchase directly from the handicraft producers. By doing so, we will be able to set a consistent purchase price for handicraft products that are sold to the platform. This puts money in the hands of the producers instantly, meaning that they do not have to wait for their product to be sold in the market to receive their money. We promises to provide compensation for products quickly with a profit margin of 70% for the artisan.By selling products to our platform, products will be sold on a global scale, something that is not readily available to handicraft producers currently. While the handicraft producers receive instant gratification from selling their product, over time we will be able to expand to develop a maker space for handicraft producers to come together to learn and teach their traditional craft along with other educational programs.To help the coops,we revitalize the weaving centers, we negotiate directly with the coop to buy a set number of rugs per month.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Heshima crafts was created by development officer Innocent temba. In his work, he met refugees and struggling to sell their handcrafts products. Meanwhile, refugee camps and host communities struggle to find advise,experts or peoples who can support them in solving their handcrafts issues. Innocent saw opportunity on handcrafts problems and thus Heshima crafts was born.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Our business is a multifaceted business that is working to help preserve the tradition refugees handicraft products. Due to mass produced and cheaply made products, carpet weaving is a dying tradition. We will be a market based solution to not only preserve this invaluable craft, but preserve the Tibetan culture. Through an innovative online platform and extensive marketing plan, We will target the Western markets. The profits of this venture will be used to expand into a market space that provides resources to artisans such as teaching them the ‘know how’ to conduct the online platform business model themselves along with other continuing education programs. Because of the unique model that employs, all handicraft producers will have a fair and consistent price for their products as will be certified as a fair trade company. Ultimately, will be able to stimulate the economy, preserve the craft of carpet weaving.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Prepare and Launch Marketing Campaign Three months will be ample time to create any and all marketing content for a staggered roll out one month before launch. Marketing material will include social media content and a press kit. Phase II Launch After the third month, the website and campaign will launch and be in full swing. The site will feature only one kind of handicraft products, which was outlined in the scalability portion of the business plan, and scale into other products in Phase III. Phase II will be sustained for a year. Develop Maker space During the yearlong Phase II, We will begin to develop and build the maker space. This space will be an expansion upon the current space provided by the coop. Phase III Phase III occurs in the second year of launch. Increase Variety of Products Sold During this phase, We will expand the types of products that are sold to western markets. Moving away from just the single handicraft product, the carpet.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Amazon Partnership The Amazon partnership will be a key partnership that has been outlined. In phase one, all procedures and requirements will be met to ensure that products are ready to ship to Amazon Warehouses. In the last month of Phase I, products will be shipped to Amazon in preparation of launch. Co-Op Partnership During the initial phase, We will ensure that everything is in order to partner with the Cooperatives in host communities and in refugees areas.This means that we will be sure that all aspects are negotiated with the coop and the expansion of the makers pace is possible.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Product: A new or enhanced physical product that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name

Heshima Handcraft.

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Heshima Crafts is Committed to revitalizing the tradition of Kigoma refugees and host communities handicraft products, We will bring these products into the digital world by proving a plug and play online platform while initially partnering with the cooperatives. The online platform that will be targeted toward the western luxury market. The joint venture between our platform and the coop will provide a common space for handicrafters to create and produce. The social cause “Shop Local, Give Global” will be marketed to create desire in western countries to purchase handicraft products, aiding the artisan directly by giving them the chance to make 70% profit along with building the social development sector. As such, it will specifically address education. Ultimately, We will provide a way for the handicrafters to revive their traditions while fostering a self sustaining economy.

Website URL:

under constructions

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Dar es salaam


Join the conversation:

Photo of NDEF Cameroon

Hi doto temba, welcome to the Challenge. We wish you success in your work!

Photo of inno s

Dear Ndef Cameroon,
Thanks a lot.