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Saoban Crafts is a social business that works with traditional artisans to preserve and promote Lao village crafts. Saoban works under the principles of fair trade in order to create employment opportunities for villagers, especially women, and reduce poverty.
Since 2005, PADETC and Saoban have helped handicraft producers to set up small businesses in rural areas and helped to train and organise rural communities to to sell in the local market.
Saoban’s promotion of small and medium enterprise development for small producers, especially rural women has advanced steadily since 2009. As a result capacities of small producers to plan, manage and produce and market quality products has improved. The inclusion of micro-finance into the activities has also meant that small producers can have access to credit for business start-up or expansion.
In 2013, Saoban is working with over 300 traditional artisans, mainly women, in 14 producer collectives. For rural producers, working with Saoban opens up a range of opportunities that can genuinely improve quality of life. Artisans produce a wide range of products including handwoven silk and cotton textiles using natural dyes, indigo ikat textiles, bamboo wares, silver jewellery, bags and accessories.
The Saoban Shop, located in the center of Vientiane, serves as a retail outlet as well as a distributor for farmers’ products. Saoban is also expanding its wholesale business to other business establishments in Laos (in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Xieng Khouang) and abroad (USA, Korea, Japan).
Saoban is an official member of Fair Trade Laos and plays an active role as adviser/trainer for other new social businesses on the principles of fair-trade and responsible supply chain development. Saoban has also been invited to international Fair Trade events in Thailand and elsewhere to showcase their products and business model.
Achievements and Impacts:
- Saoban Shop continued to become a well known as a fair-trade social enterprise supporting rural women and improving the livelihoods for 17 producer communities in seven provinces.
- Became a member of Fair Trade Laos and continued to play a critical role as adviser/trainer for other new social businesses in the principles of fair-trade and responsible supply chain development.
T: +856 21 241 835 (shop landline)
M: +856 20 9634 5586
Facebook: Follow Saoban on Facebook
Visit Saoban Shop: Chao Anou Road,97/1 Ban Watchan, Chanthabouly, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Mon – Sat, 9am – 8pm
Tel & Fax: (+856 21) 219130
Post: PO Box 2147,
Vientiane, Lao PDR
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