A Disruptive Movement That Will Change Millions of Lives
Vendedy is a social enterprise in its startup stage that aims to create the first globally disruptive online market that connects consumers to remote street artisans. Artisans on our platform upload their work via our mobile phone application. Once a consumer purchases an item online, we utilize a female community network to micro-collect items to be shipped out to you! Imagine – you as a consumer or investor can now have direct access to the most unique handmade designed products such as: jewelry, accessories, clothing, canvas paintings and more. All created by the urban poor of 150+ countries. 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. #DisrupTheNorm
Why We Do It?
The reality of global poverty hits closer to home than ever before thanks to the Internet and the development of global news outlets. 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, organizations and philanthropic efforts, including the Millennium Development Goal to end poverty by 2015. For decades global players have initiated projects to decrease the rate of poverty with no long-lasting success. We need practical solutions that incorporate the input of those in destitute poverty in order 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. Before the formalization of commerce, purchase of needs and wants were done directly and is a simple practice that can be done by anyone with a product to sell. It is no wonder that today street vending still remains 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 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.
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 platform did not exist…until now.
Our Humble Beginnings
The story of Vendedy started in a village outside of Port au Prince, Haiti where a woman sold candies and sweets on the streets everyday, rain or shine, to support her children. Her daughter, Marie Emile, eventually picked up the concept and started selling cooked food in the capital. Marie Emile’s daughter, Guelma Emile, had the chance of a lifetime to immigrate to New York City. Like the women before her, she laid out a blanket on the busy street corner of Columbus Circle in Manhattan and sold all of the Haitian artwork she brought in two hours. From 1998-2010, she supported the dreams of eight Haitian street artisans, until the earthquake of 2010 ended her vision. By that time, her daughter Christine Souffrant, was tracking the stories of 31 street vendors across 26 countries thanks to the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Street vending is in our blood. And it’s time to shake the paradigm and give street artisans the global market they deserve for the gems they painstakingly create.
Join our movement (#DistrupTheNorm)
Vendedy Corporation has a strong global network. Within three months of operating, we yielded press coverage in the Ellevate (formerly 85 Broads) UAE Next Level Forum, the Social Hive Magazine of Trinidad, the National Newspaper of Dubai, Gulf Elite Magazine, and the Clinton Global Initiative University Edition. Be on the look out for upcoming beta demos of our platform that we are co-creating with IBM Brazil. If you are interested in supporting our work, feel free to connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.