It happens very often that once a quality product has been developed, the artisan can’t keep up with demand and therefore risks losing customers. The overall problem is that due to low educational achievement and the absence of (business) experience, organizational skills are not developed. Zenji Foundation stimulates, promotes and helps local artisans on the island Zanzibar by selling and marketing their products and giving advice about improving the quality of it. At the same time it initiates exchange projects between artisans so they can learn from and motivate each other.
Crafts in Zanzibar
Zanzibar and Tanzania have a wide variety of crafts, which offers a big potential when selling the results of that on the local (tourist) market. The products vary from ornaments from recycled materials to small gifts and souvenirs, which are sold to tourists at an hotel and some other places on the island. The Zenji Foundation, founded by the Dutch Anneloes Roelandschap and her Tanzanian husband, wants to increase the employment this creates for women. Joris Wondergem, a student Industrial Design, designed new products as an addition to the current portfolio. He also, successfully, investigated possibilities for exporting the local products to Europe at a good price.
During his limited stay in Zanzibar, Joris didn’t had the time to construct a business plan for expansion of the production and retail. S4S is currently trying to ensure a continuation of this project. Additional info can be found on the website of the Zenji Foundation.