There’s exciting news on the horizon for 10 local creative businesses currently being groomed to export their goods to the United States of America (USA) via an e-Market Readiness Programme (eMRP) run by the Craft and Design Institute in partnership with Aid to Artisans (ATA).
The strategic partnership between CDI and ATA is focused on knowledge exchange and US market access, and prepares South African entrepreneurs in the creative sector to successfully enter the rapidly evolving market. The aim is to aid the creative economy hard-hit by COVID-19 by opening up new markets in the States.
In October 2021, over 80 Western and Eastern Cape businesses benefitted through a week of dynamic learning, information sharing, inspiration and networking, and the next phase of the programme is now rolling out through one-on-one coaching and intensive support to these small businesses.
The creative entrepreneurs directly benefit from enhanced knowledge on trends, changes, and requirements of the U.S. market; engaging directly with U.S. industry experts and retail buyers; building their confidence to grow their businesses.
Topics covered in the seven-month programme include Global Opportunities and Trends for Handmade, Shifts in Export Distribution Channels, Post COVID-19 Trends in Colour and Design, Product Development and Design for the Handmade Market, Costing and Pricing Strategies for the US Market and Building Buyer Relationships (U.S. buyers) online.
“This programme will enable a range of opportunities for producers to enter the global market, helping to take South Africa’s amazing creative products to new key regions such as the U.S. and helping these entrepreneurs to grow and develop,” says Erica Elk, Group CEO of the CDI.
Maud Obe, Director of Aid to Artisans, says “ATA is thrilled to partner again with CDI with the support of the U.S. Consulate to help talented South African artisan businesses expand their presence in the US Market… We are so impressed by the creativity, talent and enthusiasm we saw in the South African businesses [and] look forward to seeing these businesses expand their presence in the US Market.”
“We are always looking for ways to strengthen ties and build relationships between the United States and South Africa, especially when those ties involve our shared support of the entrepreneurial spirit and the aesthetic appeal of fair and inclusive sharing of culturally-inspired crafts. Congratulations to all the South African entrepreneurs going through the Export Market Access Programme,” says Jehan Jones-Radgowski, Acting Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate.