Vendedy Startup Enters a Partnership with IBM

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What started as a student blog conversation about digitizing the street vending industry is now a street art movement for the rural poor. Dubbed the emerging “Etsy of the Caribbean” and the future “Ebay for Street Vendors”, the 3 month startup positioned itself as the first mobile bidding marketplace for street artisans in the world.

The aim is to digitize the street vending industry within the next 5 years. That means creating an e-commerce platform for 2 billion street vendors across the globe using data, cloud and mobile technology.  The company actively searched for corporate partners to scale out its mobile technology during its early stages and caught the attention of IBM Brazil representatives during a pilot tour. The founder, Christine Souffrant, pitched  the business model to the Head of IBM Global Citizenship and was then recommended to apply to IBM’s Global Entrepreneurship Partnership Network.

By July 2014, the partnership was completed.

Vendedy now has a 3 year agreement with IBM to utilize its cloud, data, and equipment resources to provide this global solution for 150+ countries.

Beta versions of for each market country will be released in 2015. A soft launch begins in Haiti this fall.

Please direct inquiries and requests for collaboration at

Vendedy’s Involvement with the Clinton Global Initative

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In March 2014, the founder of Vendedy entered a global competition to join 1000 university students selected as global change makers. Christine Souffrant shared her personal vendetta against the exploitation of 2 billion street vendors around the world and traveled from Dubai to Arizona to join the network.

As a child, she witnessed the struggles her family faced shuffling from street corners to flea markets to survive and knew that technology can change this reality for billions around the world.

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It was an incredible experience.By June she officially incorporated Vendedy with a simple concept: a social enterprise start-up destined to digitize the street vending industry by connecting global consumers to remote street artisans using mobile technology. Christine  returned back to Haiti to pilot her idea with 60 artisans in the capital.


The founder was invited to the 10th Annual Global CGI meeting in September post the pilot to provide updates on Vendedy’s Poverty Alleviation initiative.

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To learn more about our involvement or to support our efforts, please reach us at

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About the Clinton Foundation: 

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of
leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

Mobile Bidding E-Commerce Announcement

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Hello followers of the Vendedy movement.

We are pleased to announce that in partnership with IBM and CGI affiliates,

Vendedy will launch a beta version of the Mobile Bidding Martketplace for Street artisans this November with artisans from Haiti.

Pre Orders for items on the platform will be released on Monday.

Starting January 2014 we will announce the release of artisan products from 20 Caribbean countries.

Announcements for products from South America, Central America, Africa and Asia will be in Spring 2015.

Stay tuned!

Yours Truly,

The Vendedy Startup Team.

The First E-Commerce Platform for Street Vendors

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Launched as an idea from a student blog, Vendedy is a 3 month social enterprise start-up that has exploded onto the global market as a grassroots movement for poverty alleviation efforts across Latin America.

Through its partnership with IBM, the startup will release a beta version of the platform in November 2014 with artisans from Haiti before scaling to artisans from 150+ countries in the next 5 years. Consumers from all over the world can now bid and purchase the most unique hand made items with just one click.

Beta Launch is November 2014.

Full Roll Out begins February 2015.

Follow the movement on Facebook or via the blog:

How the Urban Poor Will Disrupt the Future Online Market


A Disruptive Movement That Will Change Millions of Lives

Vendedy is a social enterprise startup that aims to create the first globally disruptive online bidding market that connects consumers to remote street artisans. Artisans on our platform upload their work via our mobile phone application, consumers bid on the items online and our local female agents ship items using our SMS tracking system. Imagine – you as a consumer can now have direct access to the most unique handmade designed products such as: jewelry, accessories, clothing, canvas paintings and more just with one bid. Not only will you connect with items of incredible value, but you can also connect with the artisans, hear their stories and have the opportunity to visit them during one of our global pilot tours. Are you ready to #DisrupTheNorm?

Why We Do It? 

The reality of global poverty hits closer to home than ever before thanks to the internet. As of 2014, there are 7.1 billion people on the planet and half of them live on $2.50 a day. This harsh truth has initiated thousands of poverty alleviation initiatives but explosive impact is not easy to come by. We need practical solutions that incorporate the input of those in destitute poverty to see transformational progress.

Why Haven’t We Considered Street Vendors?

Street vending is perhaps the most natural solution to poverty alleviation. It is estimated that 2 billion street vendors contribute to a $10 trillion dollar global shadow economy.   Street vending is the most immediate and dominant form of income generation for the urban poor. Many of the street vendors of the world are handcraft makers who create the world’s most beautiful gems with no training; just shear innate talent guided by cultural traditions.  Once an individual has honed their craft making abilities, they have the power to create products and sell it to passerbyers. Unfortunately, the greatest challenge for street artisans is that they are dependent on inconsistent tourists and middlemen wholesalers who leverage power on profit and pricing of their work. Street artisans need global visibility and sustained income streams. With sustained incomes, the transition from poverty to a modest standard of living becomes a reality. The success of this endeavor on a global scale will revolutionize global economies by using the street vending industry to eradicate poverty.

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A Proven Concept

Ebay was the first disruptive online platform for individuals to market and sell their goods. Etsy was the first disruptive online platform for artisans of the developed world. What will be the first disruptive online platform for artisans of the developing world? Vendedy is that platform! Currently there are thousands of pocket initiatives, organizations and websites that promote and sell rural artwork but a globally connected online mobile platform did not exist…until now.

Join our movement (#DistrupTheNorm) and follow us on Facebook: Vendedy. 


Going Back to Basics- The Handmade Economy

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Ever wondered if there is a market for hand mades? Or are we continuously seeking manufactured clothing, accessaries, jewelry etc? Well some sense a change is coming and it might be quicker than you think.

Prior to the industrial revolution, “independent cultural production….[was a reflection of small-scale], artisanal manufacturing that placed humans at the center of the production process” (Tracee Tenessee). The value of this era was lost over time.

But today, society initiated a global rebellion against “mainstream consumerism and the unsustainable environmental” practices that comes with mass produced products, and the return to the purchase of cultured, unique items with story and purpose is now more common.

“Consumers buy handicrafts because they like to feel connected with indigenous traditions and cultures in a global and increasingly commoditized world.”

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Not sure if this economy is picking up traction? Well, “Handicraft exports are expected to grow by about 50 per cent to $ 5 billion in 2013-14 on account of growing demand in emerging markets like China, Latin America and Africa” (indiacrafts report). According to US Aid- “the demand for “cultural goods” is projected to grow with rising international tourism” at a rapid rate because in analyzing the “home accessory market, which is often used to estimate the demand for handcrafted goods” we find that demand in this sector [during the early 2000’s was] “strongly influenced by fashion, consumer purchasing patterns, etc. at a global market value estimate of at least $100 billion”.

So the next item you buy may be the product of someone’s handiwork-and we think thats a good thing.

Follow the movement @

Vendedy Haiti Pilot Reflections

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In September 2014, Vendedy went to Port au Prince Haiti to initiate the first phase of a mobile bidding marketplace. The international team of volunteers traveled from Dubai, Croatia, New York, DC, Senegal and India to work in collaboration with local coordinators Daphnee Charles, Claudia Mortimer, Samantha Nader and the Delmas youth to spark the Vendedy movement.


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 Artisans from the Iron Market, Champ de Mars and Petionville were interviewed and screened for the platform with the support of Digicel Tcho Tcho Mobile.



We interviewed 50 artisans for the platform to launch the first beta version of the mobile bidding marketplace in November 2014.

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Word of our efforts spread quickly as we shared the Vendedy story with ESIH, Fonkoze and HELPR.

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Now what are our next steps?

We are currently aggregating the data and profiles received from the street artisan interviews (thanks in partnership with The Sustainability Platform). In coordination with our resources at IBM, we will release the beta version of the online bidding market with 100 artisans this November.

Stay tuned!


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