Economic development is only the first step in the MarketPlace: Handwork of India philosophy of social change. When a woman is able to earn a living and feed her family, her worth within the family increases significantly.
Developing Leadership for Social Change is our central goal. As the women become empowered economically, socially, and personally, they grow to be leaders. They begin questioning age-old traditions that hold women back and they work to improve the quality of life for their families and communities.
MarketPlace's model includes many opportunities for learning and experience related to running a business. By organizing and managing their own cooperatives, the artisans learn about design, production, quality control, and finances.
Other programs are platforms for personal development which will help the artisans to reach their full potential.
Programs are designed and managed by the women. They participate in a series of meetings where they question, explore, and learn about topics with which they may have little previous experience, while they enhance their analytic and presentation skills. Two representatives from each artisan group form the leadership committee for each program; over time, each woman gets a chance to be part of a leadership committee.