Lifting Filipino Artisans out of Poverty
Rags2Riches, Inc. is a for-profit social enterprise based in Manila, Philippines that aims to provide income opportunities and market access to poor Filipinos through livelihoods for its artisan partners and their communities. By providing training in weaving skills and financial literacy, Rags2Riches assists each artisan, their families, and their communities. The enterprise creates eco-friendly and fashionable products, such as purses, wallets, and home accessories, made out of upcycled scrap material. In addition to providing livelihoods, Rags2Riches educates artisans in financial literacy and basic business skills, raises their awareness of health and education opportunities, and supports their personal and community development.
For seven weeks in the summer of 2014, three fellows traveled to Manila to work with Rag2Riches and interacted with its artisan communities as they underwent their projects. To assist in impact measurement and contribute to the tool used for artisan training, the fellows produced a social impact survey mobile application and improved the Rags2Riches community expansion module.
Catherine Rose Grimes
Faculty Research Mentors:
Dr. Laura Nichols
Dr. Silvia Figueira
Social Impact Survey // Catherine Rose Grimes To improve impact measurement, the fellows created and piloted a social impact survey. The purpose of the survey is to develop social impact measurements that will allow the enterprise to assess artisans’ livelihood development and quality of life. In order to improve efficiency of data collection and analyses, this paper-based survey was then converted into a mobile application, upon return to campus in the fall.
Community Expansion Module // Garrett Eggen The fellows also improved the existing Rags2Riches training plan for new artisan communities, resulting in a community expansion module with livelihood teachings, skills trainings, and community values modules.