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MarketPlace: Handwork of India is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing economic opportunities to women artisans in India with the goal of increasing their involvement in social change. MarketPlace is committed to being an economically viable business. It uses design to compensate for the lack of resources of the women artisans.
"People-centered" is what MarketPlace is about. On each piece of MarketPlace clothing is sewn the words, "Dignity, Not Charity," and these words are given life and meaning through the daily operations that involve artisans directly in planning, producing and managing MarketPlace products. There are no handouts here. MarketPlace does not dictate the outcome of the design process, or the management practices including profit sharing within each artisan group or the social programs created by each group. The women artisans make these decisions. MarketPlace is an equal partner and one of the participants in the Women Artisan Co-op Network. MarketPlace brings to the table market trends, customer research, potential opportunities, sales analysis to enrich the development and viability of each cooperative. The MarketPlace products are artisan-driven. Products are developed by first looking at the skills and needs of the artisans (see Design Process) while keeping in mind the tastes and preferences of the customer. For Example, most of the artisans need to work at home, while accomplishing their daily household responsibilities, hence each product has an enormous amount of handwork.
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