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A case study on gender

The 11 strong board is made-up of four males and seven females. ACP employs 120 people directly, 95 per cent of whom are women.

Association of Craft Producers Nepal (ACP) was founded by CEO Meera Bhattarai in 1984. She was the only woman in a management committee of eight people when ACP was set up, but today their management committee is made up of seven women and two men. The 11 member-strong board is made up of four men and seven women.

ACP employs 100 people directly, 65 per cent of whom are women. ACP workers have two labour unions and the president of one of the union is a woman. In addition, ACP works with around 1000 artisans (mostly home based and, women comprising 90 per cent), who are not directly employed by ACP but produce for them. All trade with these artisans adheres to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

Collections cover home textiles, home accessories like vases and decorative pieces, and ceramic tableware. ACP has been exporting to the USA and Europe since its inception. They have innovated in traditional design in block printing, felting, copper crafts, with a focus on using these crafts to create a modern contemporary feel in their products.

All profits are reinvested into growing the social impact of the business, including into innovations that can increase sales and support more livelihoods. Over the past three years, a grant from a European-based foundation has enabled ACP to provide the artisan groups loan at low interest rates of four per cent to invest in and grow their enterprise.

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