The Challenge
  • For years, incredibly talented artists and artisans across the globe have struggled to find markets for their handmade products because they live in remote places. Incomes are small and stagnant as craftspeople and producers resort to selling their goods to the tourist trade or to international import/export companies, which then resell their goods at huge markups.
  • At the same time, global demand for these products is large. The global handicrafts industry itself is worth $100 billion. Household products stores continue to expand in developed countries, sourcing goods from mass production operations in developing countries.

The Innovation

  • Elevyn connects crafts sellers in poor communities directly with consumers in wealthier markets, cutting out layers of middlemen. Producers receive up to 85% of the sale price of goods sold through the company’s low-cost, online sales and supply chain infrastructure, a greater proportion than any of its competitors.
  • In a fashion similar to Kiva, the Elevyn web site allows consumers to see who their purchases are impacting and how they are creating improvements by reading sellers’ stories and measuring the financial impact of purchases.


The Impact

  • Elevyn provides a more direct link between producers and markets, allowing them to capture a greater portion of the value of their work and provide them with information about what the market likes.
  • Elevyn promotes community building by directing a portion of each sale to a fund financing a project the community has agreed on.
  • Elevyn is currently working with 366? artisans and 9 field partners in Malaysia and Cambodia. In the next 12 months, Elevyn will be expanding its supply chain to the remaining of the ASEAN countries, with a target of working with 50 field partners.


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