IKEA Social Entrepreneurs – Co-creating change

Two artisan women working with a social entrepreneur in India are holding up the handcrafted pillows they made for IKEA.

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.

A pink package of PÅTÅR special edition 100% Arabica coffee in the hand of a coffee farmer.

PÅTÅR special edition: Premium 100% Arabica coffee with a purpose

PÅTÅR special edition is a fresh and fruity medium roast made from high quality, single-origin coffee beans with notes of chocolate and vanilla. They are carefully hand-picked and selected in the White Nile region of Uganda, which provides the perfect setting for Arabica coffee plants. But PÅTÅR is also special for other reasons.

To help support coffee farmers in Uganda economically, as well as more sustainable farming practices, IKEA has teamed up with a social business project that buys the beans directly from about 13,000 smallholder farmers. This means that while enjoying a cup of our PÅTÅR special edition coffee, you’re contributing to farmers getting better living conditions, and to growing the coffee beans in a responsible way.

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.

“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
A world map showing the social entrepreneurs around the world working with IKEA, from Asia to Europe and North America.

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.

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.

IKEA co-workers from Sweden are creating a collection together with women artisans working for a social entrepreneur.

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!