Participants from the Entrepreneurial Strengthening in the Tourism Sector: Opportunities for Women workshop
Cartegena de Indias, Republic of Colombia-This October, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in collaboration with the Regional Port Society of Cartagena and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the republic of Colombia, with the support of the Office of Tourism and Culture of the Organization of American States hosted its Entrepreneurial Strengthening in the Tourism Sector: Opportunities for Women workshop on October 23rd and 24th. The women came from Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republica Dominicana, Panama, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. These workshops focused on topics ranging from personal growth to building connections with the governmental sectors. By the end of the workshop, the artisans committed to forming a Regional Network of Artisans of the Greater Caribbean to continue networking, co-operation and dialogue within their community. The artisans also made a special request to showcase and promote arts and and craft from the Region to international buyers in a regional fair.
Carola Mandelbaum, Managing Director Creative Learning, facilitated Workshop 2: Overview of Market Readiness of Artisan Products. This hands- on session, included presentations of handmade products by artisans and their individual evaluation based on product marketability and sales presentation. Mandelbaum also conducted a series of “plenary sessions”, in which she gave a presentation on “Generating Consumer Demand: The Balance between Authenticity, Meeting Consumer Needs and Anticipating Trends”. During the presentation, she outlined key points when considering the marketability of a product.
Crafts made by Colombian artisan, featured in workshop
Produced in the region, hand-made by local and sense of place were three of the various points that were highlighted in the discussion on authenticity of handmade products. When asked about her experience at the conference, Mandelbaum responded that it was a “great experience” and that “after the presentation, a lot of people were interested in attending the MRP (Market Readiness Program™). So I do think there is going to be a decent amount of applications coming in for that.”