The Awamaki Women's Cooperative Program provides business incubation and training to six rural women's cooperatives of weavers, knitters, spinners and seamstresses. We train artisans in product development, design, quality control, business administration and leadership. We aim to graduate the cooperatives as independent small businesses capable of export-quality production. This ensures sustainable, long-term impact for the women as they connect to global markets and earn a higher income.
Women in rural communities don't have access to economic opportunities or cash income. They often don't speak Spanish, read or write. Men leave the communities to work, leaving women to care for children, animals and subsistence farms. Women are skilled in traditional crafts, but they lack a basic education, market knowledge and business administration and leadership skills.
Awamaki's business incubator model charts a course for poor, rural women's cooperatives to attain independent business leadership. It combines capacity-building with increasing management responsibility and market access through our sales program. This project funds capacity building trainings, field trips and other investments to teach quality control, business administration, and marketing and sales for export.
Women invest income directly into their children and their communities. Economic opportunity and skills education empower women to transform their communities and lift their families out of poverty. This project gives poor women skills and opportunity for long-term economic success that is not dependent on any one person or NGO.