IKEA Social Entrepreneurs – Co-creating change
At IKEA, we want to create a better everyday life for as many people as possible – including the millions who are marginalised and far from the labour market. Teaming up with social entrepreneurs who use business as a way to reduce poverty, empower women and tackle social and environmental challenges in their communities is one way of making this a reality.
Collaborating with social entrepreneur artisans – mostly women – gives us the possibility to offer tailor-made services and beautiful, unique products to our customers while contributing to jobs for refugees and vulnerable groups. The handmade products are sold globally or in selected countries as well as locally, and we are expanding our support to social enterprises outside the IKEA business. All these collaborations are part of our overall initiative called IKEA Social Entrepreneurship.
Crafting a better future with social business
The social enterprises we partner with are artisan shareholding companies, foundations and other companies addressing social challenges. Improving artisans’ livelihoods is an important step towards helping them gain respect and create a better future for their families and communities.
“Handicraft is not only a career, or a way to sustain one’s livelihood, it’s a lifeline.”
Tahani Al Khatib, artisan from Palestine working for IKEA and Jordan River Foundation
Developing ideas together
IKEA designers work directly with women artisans to develop the products in each collection, using traditional handicraft techniques, such as embroidery, weaving and pottery.
Together, we co-create unique products using traditional handicraft methods and materials. The results are limited edition collections available at IKEA stores in selected countries, as well as products sold all year globally.
More than 1,000 Indian women at the artisan collective Rangsutra are involved in the co-creation of beautiful, handcrafted textile products for IKEA.
Our collaboration with Doi Tung DP, Thailand, has so far resulted in several unique collections of handmade textile, pottery and paper products.
Creating lasting change by growing together
Our first collaborations resulted in small, limited collections to be sold in eight stores in three countries. Today, the same entrepreneurs produce collections that are sold in 180 stores in 27 different countries!
Growing together with our social entrepreneur partners supports positive economic and social development and creates long-term sustainable change. While contributing to equality, inclusion, and decent livelihoods, we also learn how to become a more circular and sustainable business.
Today, we have close to thirty social entrepreneur partners providing products and services globally and locally. We are also supporting twelve social entrepreneurs outside our business, all in all contributing to the creation of decent jobs and incomes of more than 20,100 people around the world.
Facts & figures
- 28 social entrepreneur partners who create IKEA products and services globally and locally
- 12 social entrepreneurs outside our business who receive support for their business expansion plans
- 8 stores in 3 countries sold the first social entrepreneur collections – today they’re sold in 180 stores in 27 countries
- 20,100 people have jobs and incomes as a result of our social entrepreneur collaborations, generating a positive social impact to over 120,000 people