Partners & Projects

200 Million Artisans (Fiscal Sponsor–Zebras Unite)

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The Project

The India-based 200 Million Artisans documented the current role of catalytic capital in India’s artisan sector with a specific focus on how it applies to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The primary objective was to examine why catalytic capital is needed to spur growth, pulling learnings from similar markets to facilitate early deployment to support creative + social enterprises in the global artisan economy. Because the key stakeholders in this effort are the enterprises themselves, a significant part of the research identified and documented barriers, biases, and skill gaps that inhibit the ability of craft-led MSMEs to access appropriate funding.

Value and Outcomes

As the second largest global employer after agriculture and estimated to represent $1 trillion in revenues by 2023, the artisan sector offers significant opportunities to alleviate poverty and advance gender equity. In India, it impacts more than 200 million livelihoods, with half of the country’s craft and artisan-based enterprises being led by women. These enterprises are a critical source of dignified employment in dispersed rural communities while often offering valuable models for green growth.

200 Million Artisans mapped relevant data, including interviews and essays from across the MSME landscape. 200 Million Artisans is disseminating learnings digitally across markets and advocating for their conclusions through webinars, blogs, and other types of public information sessions.

Read the final report, Financing a Handmade Revolution: How Catalytic Capital Can Jumpstart India’s Cultural Economy.

Learn more about 200 Million Artisans at

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