Like a cross between Kiva and Etsy, Ahkun works to close the cycle for artisans and micro-enterprise owners who have received micro-finance loans to begin their own business enterprises, by providing them a marketplace to sell their goods. The potential to sell their goods in non-local and international markets (where they may receive higher prices for their products), allows them to continue creating goods, and also to scale up their micro-enterprises.
From the Ahkun website:
“Ahkun CONNECTS artisans and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace. We harness the power of the web to provide microloan recipients access to the global market, allowing them to sell outside of domestic markets and scale their enterprises. Our goods are tangible results of life changing loans allowing individuals to continue artisan traditions and support themselves and their communities.”
Members will also gain access to “a network that facilitates access to credit through microfinance initiatives and partners, and support mechanisms that assist in scaling businesses and paying off microloans.”
Ahkun’s business model:
Monies generated from the goods sold will be split 50/50 with the micro-entrepreneurs, and remaining profits will go to supporting the micro-finance initiatives, as well as into development of Ahkun’s programs.
This is an incredible next step to follow the micro-finance phenomenon and, although Ahkun is in its pilot phase, it is hopeful proof that a global social economy market is underway.
Ahkun means ‘thank you’ in Khmer (Cambodian). So, “Ahkun” to this group pushing the social enterprise market forward for those in the BoP markets.
Visit Ahkun on Facebook @: http://www.facebook.com/ahkunisthankyou?sk=wall
Information and Media from the Ahkun website @: http://www.ahkun.org/
Additional information from: http://www.changemakers.com/economicopportunity/nominations/global-marketplace-microenterprise-goods