Artesan Profile: Ankur Handicrafts

Based in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, Ankur Handicrafts comprises of women artisan producers each of whom are women with disabilities. At the moment the group comprises of 47 individuals, most of whom come from poor and neglected communities and must work in order to survive.

Originally an income generating project within the Protibondhi Community Center (PCC) , Ankur Handicrafts was established to combine the work of a women’s club and a Carpet Workshop , to provide the women consistent employment through a sustainable business model. Established in 1997 by Taize brothers in Mymensingh, PCC provides health, education, medical and skills training through self-help groups and income generating projects to people with disabilities and their families.

Ankur Handicrafts currently produces carpets (made out of wool and recycled sari’s), bags, table linens, bed linens, greeting cards and decorative items. Several of the items are made from recycled materials such as coconut shells and recycled sari’s. The raw materials come from Dhaka and other towns and cities too.

One of our main challenges is sales. In part this is due to the lack of publicity and the fact that people are not use to paying a certain price for high quality products. At the moment we sell our products from our showroom in Mymensingh as well as the Dhaka craft bazaar. We also sell products to visitors to the workshop and our foreign friends who order our products.

In the year ahead we would like to continue to explore ways in which we can increase our sales both in Bangladesh and overseas.

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