The Artisans Cooperative, born out of the Etsy Strike movement in April 2022, continues to make progress towards its goal to create an alternative marketplace for artisan and handmade items by earning a spot in the 2023 cohort of the Start.coop Accelerator Program.
Co-op Etsy Alternative Joins Start.coop Accelerator Program
New Artist-Owned Online Marketplace Receives Funding and Resources from Start.coop
Crafters are transforming the energy of the Etsy Strike into a marketplace of their own. Following a January 2023 announcement that it received funding and support from the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and, through it, grant funds from the USDA, Artisans Cooperative is now revealing that the startup has joined nine other co-ops in the 2023 cohort of the Start.coop Accelerator Program.
The Start.coop Accelerator Program provides cooperative startups with funding, coaching, educational resources, mentoring, and access to business management tools and services. A $10,000 grant will help Artisans Cooperative pay for the costs of legal incorporation and accounting setup. Acceptance in the program also gives the co-op access to opportunities for additional funding from individual and institutional investors, co-op loan programs, and philanthropy.
Artisans Cooperative was born from the April 2022 Etsy Strike and is being built by creatives. The group announced its intention to build an online handmade marketplace in October 2022, and plans to launch the basic marketplace by October 2023. Membership will be open to artisans and their supporters and staff.
Artisans Cooperative Organizer Valerie Schafer Franklin said, "Artisans and shoppers alike need a better authentically-handmade shopping experience that doesn't squeeze artisans. We just spent the week in Washington, DC with the 9 other cooperative businesses accepted to the Start.coop accelerator and are proud to be in such good company"
Greg Brodsky, Founder and Co-Director of Start.coop adds, “Artisans Cooperative has potential to attract the thousands of artisans seeking a more equitable alternative to Etsy. We are excited to support Artisans Cooperative, as part of our spring 2023 accelerator cohort, as they build a more ethical marketplace for the handmade community, benefiting both the artisans and their customers.”