Etsy Uplift Initiative to assist disenfranchised communities

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Etsy has unveiled their latest commitment to economic justice – the Etsy Uplift Initiative, a series of programs designed to level the playing field and bring more economic opportunities to creative entrepreneurs everywhere.

“Etsy is proud to serve as an on-ramp for entrepreneurship: anyone with a creative idea and $0.20 can open a shop, reach tens of millions of buyers around the world, and build a small business from the ground up. While our marketplace eliminates many of the barriers to entry for creative entrepreneurs, we know that many people still lack the basic requirements for starting an online business, like an internet connection, digital know-how, and a bank account.”
– Etsy

One of the key components of this initiative is Etsy’s newly-established Uplift Makers Program, which serves to provide financial opportunities to historic, yet economically disenfranchised, artisan communities, while simultaneously recognizing and celebrating their artistic contributions to history and culture.

“We are excited to introduce the Uplift Makers Program by launching individual Etsy shops for twenty-five women from two celebrated groups of artisans: the Gee’s Bend quilters of Alabama and the Gullah basket weavers of South Carolina. For the majority of the quilters and weavers, this will be the very first time they have ever sold their products online. Get to know some of these inspiring women and their talents with this video!”
– Etsy

Etsy launched a pilot program with the Gee’s Bend quilters earlier this year, and within 24 hours, many of the quilters’ shops had sold out. In the first six months, the quilters generated more than $300,000 in sales through their Etsy shops.

The Etsy Uplift Initiative serves as an example of how companies can prioritize economic justice in order to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to achieve financial success.


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