We believe inclusive creative communities help build stronger local economies.
Since our earliest days, Etsy has functioned as an on-ramp to entrepreneurship, empowering people around the world to turn creativity into economic opportunity. Our Maker Cities initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to use the power of business to strengthen and empower communities.
The Maker Cities initiative seeks to unlock the potential of creative entrepreneurship to drive local economic development, revitalize cities, and help historically underrepresented groups participate in the creative economy. We know the best way to build inclusive economies comes from community projects where everyone has a seat at the table, and each city selected demonstrated just that.
In 2019, we selected five stand-out organizations whose efforts focused on fostering diverse and inclusive creative communities in their local areas. In partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Etsy is proud to have supported the 2019 Maker Cities Grant recipients.
Conexión Américas – Nashville, TN
Supporting immigrant and refugee makers
Conexión Américas’ Maker Cities project grew their microenterprise program to help immigrant and refugee microentrepreneurs benefit from Nashville’s creative economy and engage in the online marketplace. Their program provided one-on-one technical assistance in Spanish and English to immigrant and refugee makers so that they could succeed in Etsy’s online marketplace and participate in Nashville’s creative economy.
Southern Colorado Economic Development District – Pueblo, CO
Creative entrepreneurship for the diversely abled and limited economic means
Partnering with local organizations to form the Pueblo Makes community collective, the Southern Colorado Economic Development District’s Maker Cities project provided custom-designed training, technical assistance, and mentoring to help makers become entrepreneurs and expand Pueblo’s growing creative economy. While the program aimed to elevate all of Pueblo’s makers, the program specifically committed to supporting makers with diverse abilities, those with limited economic means, and others who often do not have a seat at the table.
Main Street Eureka Springs – Eureka Springs, AR
Supporting LGBTQ makers and older entrepreneurs
Main Street Eureka Springs’ Maker Cities Project built out the Eureka Springs Maker Launch Pad, a program aimed at expanding the business acumen of local artists and makers. Open to all makers and artists but with an emphasis on LGBTQ makers and entrepreneurs over fifty, the program gave participants the opportunity to market-test retail products and prepare for online and in-person selling.
Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation – Phoenix, AZ
Opportunities for diverse artists and makers
Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporations’ Maker Cities Project focused on developing the Roosevelt Row Academy. Through a co-op pop up shop, the artist-designed and -led program sought to connect diverse communities with a focus on underserved artists and makers and build participants’ entrepreneurial skills.
Jabberwocky Studios – Columbia, MO
Supporting women and makers of color
Targeting women and makers of color, Jabberwocky Studio teamed up with The Loop CID to create a one-stop shop of resources for local makers. The program included a shared branding program, community-wide awareness campaign, online directory, educational events and maker meet-ups, along with pop-up shops, tasting events, and manufacturing space sourcing assistance.
We’re thrilled to support these organizations’ work to build inroads to their creative communities. Each grantee received $40,000 in direct program support along with:
- A robust, custom built training program and ongoing cohort support from Recast City, a technical assistance firm focused on business development for the maker economy to create thriving communities
- Access to an online facilitated community where grantees can connect and share progress
- Access to a city-specific economic impact dashboard powered by mySidewalk
- Access and training to a tool that provides insight into neighborhood level economic activity via Mastercard Retail Location Insights (MRLI)