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Etsy Labs: Thinking of Markets As More Than Transactions

Etsy has done a stellar job of empowering it's creative community through boosting their skills, including financial know-how.

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Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect – both online and offline – to make, sell and buy unique goods. They do a rocking job of cutting out intermediaries and have nurtured a strong global community of creative traders.

"Etsy really gets the importance of community to the formation of successful business ventures. Not only do they organize special events in cities across the world, but they also host 'online labs'. These sessions teach skills in craftsmanship, administration and business strategy. Events create networking opportunities and foster local partnerships, while the online labs ensure that all users are able to connect with the community regardless of their location or limitations." – OpenIDEATOR, Jane Bruner

The also hold Mentoring Months across global locations, where community high flyers can share their tips to those just learning the ropes. "“I’ve thought about setting up an Etsy shop for ages but was daunted by the amount of work that seemed to be involved – taking good photos, getting decent packaging, finding out postage rates. So Mentoring Month provided the kick up the behind to actually do something about it – working with a partner who I didn’t want to let down and who provided support and encouragement was really helpful. I know that, left to my own devices, I would still be shopless!” – Etsy newbie, Kim

I'm loving how Easy are thinking beyond facilitating transactions and are also focused on empowering their community with the skills to improve their trading power. I also like that this form of improving financial literacy is focused on a specific endeavour. Perhaps there's likely to be more traction when someone is offering you financial information that relates to your aspirational pursuits rather than more general advice?

You might also be interested to check out: Breaking the Mould – How Etsy and Online Craft Marketplaces Are Changing the Nature of Business

How might we disrupt supply chains to provide easier access to markets? How might we inspire marketplaces to nurture stronger supplier communities?

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