Harvard South Asia Institute and Tata Trusts partners to enhance capacity building of Bengaluru’s Craftizen Foundation’s work with artisans in the state

Craftizen Foundation is among six social enterprises who were shortlisted and given grants as part of the joint 18-months project on livelihood creation in India.

Harvard South Asia Institute and Tata Trusts partners to enhance capacity building of Bengaluru’s Craftizen Foundation’s work with artisans in the state

Bangalore, January 19, 2017: Rural Karnataka got a new lease of encouragement to promote its handicrafts sector. Craftizen Foundation, an NGO, headquartered in Bengaluru was selected by Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) as one of the six social enterprises that were given grants and support for rural livelihood creation in the Indian crafts sector. This is part of an eighteen-month project named ‘Livelihood Creation in India’ (http://southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/livelihood-creation-project/) taken up by Harvard University SAI in collaboration with Tata Trusts. The outcomes of this project will be announced at a summit event, organised by Harvard University SAI. The other five social enterprises that also received grants are Women Weave from Madhya Pradesh, Kumaun Grameen Udyog (KGU) from Uttarakhand, Freeset Fabrics from West Bengal, Chitrika from Andhra Pradesh and Raah Foundation from Maharashtra.

The core theme of ‘Livelihood Creation in India’ focuses on three key areas: Rural Livelihood Creation through emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors; Educational, Social and Economic Empowerment of Women; and Science and Technology-based Social Entrepreneurship.

As part of this program, budding social entrepreneurs and crafts enterprises in India applied for social innovation grants totalling INR 50 lakhs, to stimulate interventions and scale up existing initiatives that can lead to greater impact in select geographies.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shashank Shah, Visiting Scholar, Harvard Business School and Project Director and Fellow Harvard University SAI, who led the project said, “We are happy to support Craftizen that focuses on enabling sustainable livelihoods for Indian artisans by building capacity of craft groups with market-ready skills and know-how. Craftizen’s collaborative model is unique. Therefore, Harvard SAI Project has supported Craftizen Foundation to design and conduct a finishing school for craft person and artisans from different parts of Karnataka.”

Explaining the overview of the project, Professor Tarun Khanna, Director, Harvard University South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; and Chairman, NITI Aayog Expert Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, and faculty chair of this project,  said, “This project has involved rigorous research work with over 150 social enterprises across 15 states of India, 5 workshops with 125 participating enterprises, and 10 webinars involving Harvard faculty and subject experts from India.

Professor Mukti Khaire, faculty chair of the project on rural livelihood creation in the Indian crafts sector observed, “The main outcomes of the project have been to gain a deep understanding of the ecosystem of handicrafts organizations in the country as depicted in the publication released on this occasion, and to foster innovation and collaboration across handicrafts and geographies.”

Tata Trusts collaborated with Harvard University SAI to build capacities that effect widespread catalytic change through the country. The collaboration provided a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurship and social institutions to flourish in an ever evolving landscape, expanding their reach within their chosen geographies, which resulted in more holistic impact for their communities.

On the occasion, three publications compiled by Harvard faculty, fellows and eminent subject matter experts, was released. These included:
•Innovation in Tradition: Rural Livelihood Creation in the Indian Crafts Sector,
•Science for Society: Science and Technology Based Social Entrepreneurship
•Task-shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the AYUSH Debate.

About Craftizen Foundation

Craftizen Foundation is a social venture, which functions as the business acumen partner for the Indian handicrafts sector. The focus is on enabling sustainable livelihoods for Indian artisans by building capacity of craft groups with market-ready skills and know-how. Craftizen’s collaborative model is unique. It partners with several not-for-profits and social enterprises that are working in the crafts sector to collectively maximise reach and impact. The organization brings a market-centric approach to the crafts sector through research, trend analysis, strategic planning and inputs. This ensures long-term sustainability. Till date Craftizen has impacted over 600 beneficiaries from marginalized groups through CSR funded and craft-based livelihood programs.

About Harvard University’s South Asia Institute

The Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. Over the past decade, SAI has built an extensive network of stakeholders across India who have played significant roles impacting social entrepreneurship and livelihood creation in the country. Its network includes over 1,700 Harvard alumni across disciplines who have returned to India and lead organizations in the public and private sector, and over 100 faculty members who focus their cutting-edge research and teaching on issues and subjects directly related to South Asia. SAI organizes 70 events annually which include seminars, symposiums, workshops and webinars in Boston (USA) and in India. Through these meetings, SAI regularly partners with experts and leaders in the government, academia and civil society organizations.

About the project

Under the project, 125 organizations from across 15 states in India were shortlisted through a rigorous selection process. Based on the needs of the participating organizations, four capacity building and strengthening workshops were developed and delivered in January-February 2016 with the overarching themes of ‘Rural Livelihood Creation in the Indian Crafts Sector’ and ‘Science and Technology Based Social Entrepreneurship’. A total of 16 organizations also received social innovation grants of INR 50 lakhs. A total of 12 organizations have been showcased in the publications.

About Tata Trusts

Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development.  Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy, the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation. For more information, please visit http://tatatrusts.org I Social Media handles: Twitter:@tatatrusts / Facebook: Tata Trusts / Instagram: tata_trusts