IKEA Social Entrepreneurs – Co-creating change
Social entrepreneurs are in the business of making everyday life better in their communities. They use business as a way to tackle social and environmental challenges, such as reducing poverty and empowering women.
Started in 2012, IKEA now has several ongoing partnerships with social entrepreneurs, employing local artisans in vulnerable communities around the world. The social enterprises we partner with are mainly self help groups and women owned cooperatives. Making a decent livelihood helps them gain respect and create a better future for their families.
Together, we co-create unique products, using traditional handicraft methods and materials – limited edition collections available at IKEA stores in selected countries.
Not charity, but business development
We want to build lasting relationships with our partners and support their development, that’s why we work together to share knowledge about design, production, environmental management, export and more. Through us, the social entrepreneurs can access a global marketplace, giving them a strong foundation for self-sufficiency and independence.s.
They learn the skills and acquire the resources to bring about a lasting change in their lives. And they’re not dependent on charity."
Sumita Ghose, Founder and Managing Director, Rangsutra
Since all the products are handcrafted, and the entreprises have access to limited resources, the production is also limited. That’s why we can offer the collections to selected countries only. Through our collaboration with social entrepreneurs, we want to support positive economic and social development across the world – long-term sustainable change in a way that charity by itself can’t.
We are currently working with social entrepreneurs in India, Thailand, Uganda, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Croatia, Romania, Jordan, USA and Canada. We are actively looking for new partners around the world.
A positive change, internationally but also locally
Sometimes, we also work with communities close to an IKEA store. Many of these local social enterprises offer work to immigrant and refugee women. This provides them and their families with vital income where they would otherwise struggle to enter the labour market.
IKEA designers work directly with women artisans to co-create the products in each collection, using traditional handicraft techniques, such as embroidery, weaving and pottery – handicraft that changes lives!