SERRV International, a national fair trade organization headquartered in Madison, Wis., has been awarded a $53,500 grant from the eBay Foundation for a new website aimed at providing resources to low-income artisans and farmers in more than 30 countries around the world.
The online information clearinghouse will be an innovative web portal that provides SERRV’s artisans and farmer partners with access to tools they need to be successful in the global marketplace. It will share market trends and sales data, video training and practical solutions to common artisan problems. The website will also feature discussion groups to foster peer-to-peer information sharing. A testing version of the site is expected to be online this fall.
"We are delighted to be partnering with SERRV International in their efforts to utilize web-based technologies to empower artisans around the world," said Irene Wong, executive director and CEO of the eBay Foundation. Since its inception, the eBay Foundation has contributed more than $8 million to nonprofit organizations.
The new online portal builds on SERRV International’s nearly 60 years of experience assisting disadvantaged artisans and farmers in developing their business skills and market potential. The project will benefit more than 80 fair trade artisan and farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and expand to include other regional fair trade organizations and partnerships.
“We live in an information-based world,” said Cheryl Musch, project director and director of International Development at SERRV International. “Access to trend information and marketing tools is essential for artisans building their skills and taking control of their lives. This is a tremendous opportunity to have an impact.”
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SERRV International works in 36 countries to alleviate poverty through training and trade and sells fairly traded handcrafts through its marketing program, A Greater Gift. Customers can purchase A Greater Gift products through its catalogs and website.