For the second year in a row, we are taking our message about creative entrepreneurship and empowerment to Washington, DC. Responding to the President’s call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, Etsy is furthering our commitment to build a better economy — one that puts people at the center of commerce, promotes local, sustainable production, and empowers anyone to build a creative business on their own terms.
Policymakers are waking up to the value of the maker economy. When I meet with government officials around the world, I see a new awareness and concern about the needs and challenges of micro-businesses. Even Congress has a Congressional Maker Caucus, which is hosting it’s own Capitol Hill Maker Faire this week. Today we’re excited to stand with President Obama to celebrate the students, makers and entrepreneurs who are creating their own products, building their own businesses, and in the process, remaking the global economy.
At this morning’s kick-off event at the White House, we are sharing our commitment to expand our Craft Entrepreneurship program. Craft Entrepreneurship’s mission is to create pathways to entrepreneurship for creative people in underserved communities, working with cities to realize the vision of an inclusive, thriving Etsy Economy.
Our commitment: Etsy will expand our Craft Entrepreneurship program to 30 cities by June 2016. Craft Entrepreneurship is now in 19 cities across the United States and United Kingdom and more than 500 online shops have already been created as a result of the program. The five newest partner cities include: Cookeville, TN; Atlantic City, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Hazard, KY, which is in a Promise Zone recently designated by the Obama Administration.
In addition, we will organize regional roundtables among sellers and local government representatives, and use those as listening sessions to document best practices for other local leaders that want to foster greater entrepreneurship in their communities.
Have an idea for what your local government can do to support Etsy businesses? Share it in the comments below.
When we meet with policymakers, we reiterate the five actions we think they can take to capitalize on the promise of the maker movement to build a better economy. Read more in our report: A Call to Action: Five Proposals to Support the Emerging Maker Economy.