Art-Based Social Enterprises in India


Art has played an integral role in shaping the opinion of the society. It is a medium through which one can express her/his emotion through visual, auditory or performing artefacts. It is also a medium through which one can keep a culture alive. It can also act as a medium for social change. Impactpreneurs identifies a few social enterprises in India.

  1. Ziveli
    Ziveli means “cheers” in  Serbian. True to its meaning, Ziveli is bringing cheers to the Indian Manipuri artisans. It is a venture started by a brother-sister duo; Kehan Saraiya and Tanvi Saraiya. They are toiling to achieve the duo aims; to save traditional kauna handicraft based out of Manipur and its artisans, and to manufacture organic, sustainable, affordable and eco-friendly lifestyle products. Ziveli draws quite a lot of inspiration from the Bohemian culture in their work.


Local artisan at work


  1. Happy Hands Foundation
    Happy Hands Foundation is determined to revive the lives of artisans by empowering them. They also support the youth to work on development activities and craft entrepreneurship. Following are some efforts made by Happy Hands Foundation to rejuvenate the dying craft industry:
  • They organize rural fellowship programme to connect youth to the traditional craft industry
  • To enhance the skills of the artisans, the foundation conducts seminars and training sessions for the artisans.
  • To preserve the heritage, Happy Hands Foundation has come up with Handmade Tales which includes museum visits, workshops and archiving intangible heritage.


Local artisan preserving the dying handicraft culture



  1. Slam Out Loud
    It provides a storytelling and poetry platform to children. It is an initiation by Slam Out Loud to inspire, develop and motivate children to share their thoughts. It provides a platform where children especially marginalised children can voice their opinion. Slam Out Loud also organises Jijivisha Fellowship which is a 9-month weekly programme wherein they connect to children from marginalised sector through creative expressions.

  1. eMithilaHaat
    eMithilaHaat is a venture started by Ankit Jha, a software engineer who left his stable job to return to his homeland to revive the dying culture of Mithila. He has removed the mediators who used to exploit the artisans by not providing a fair price for the quality delivered by them. Since,  its inception in 2013, eMithilaHaat has won prestigious accolades like Padma Shree, Shilpa Guru, National Award, Bihar Ratna. The designs on the products offered by eMithilaHaat are copyright protected. Hence, making Mithila/Madhubani one of its kind and securing the livelihood of the artisans. Not only this, eMithilaHaat also aims to provide elementary education and healthcare to the artisans.
eMithilaHaat giving meaning to the lives of rural artisans


  1. Jeevan Trust
    Jeevan Trust is making the voices of unheard echo through the medium of art and media. It is an NGO which is uplifting transgenders, people affected by albinism, restricted growth (dwarfism), muscular dystrophy and truck drivers.
    Jeevan Trust has launched an album called Songs of the Caravan which is a first album made by transgenders. It is a song sung by 9 transgender women among which 6 have a degree in music. Many a time, transgenders are not given admissions in regular music schools. Hence, Jeevan Trust is in a plan to start a music school for transgenders.




  1. Granny’s Love
    Granny’s Love empowers grandmothers by rekindling the art of knitting. It is a platform which is redefining the lives of elderly people of India. Indians are fond of wearing home-knitted woollen clothes. Hence, Granny’s Love manufactures woollen clothes which are knitted with love by grannies who are entrepreneurs.


Knitted woollen clothes by grannies



  1. A Hundred Hands
    A Hundred Hands is an NGO which is toiling to create a world where handmade crafts are used in daily lives. It is bridging a gap between the handicraft industry and its users. Some of the art-work which the organization has showcased overtime includes Mughal carved blocks, patwa threadwork, lambani / lambadi / sitlingi embroidery, bagru and dabu printing, basket weaving – sabai/moonj grass and water reed basketry, container gardening, phad paintings, mojaris and juttis – leather footwear and hand-knotted cotton dhurries.


  1. Hands of India (HOI)
    HOI is an online-based enterprise which sells handmade products made by artisans across India. The products are made with eco-friendly materials with less use of machines. It is a venture started by two sisters; Malyada and Ramya who had an endless passion for embroidery and weaving. HOI is trying to give the right value to the products manufactured by the artisans. Their craft varies from soof and ahir embroidery, handmade laces, silver jewellery, handloom fabrics, stone pottery, terracotta, oak silk, batik-dyeing to various kinds of hand embroidery.


HOI uplifting the textile artisans



  1.  Matsya Crafts
    After 2001, Kutch earthquake in Gujarat, Neha Gandhi was working on relief projects where she knew about the rural handicraft culture. Hence, she started Matsya Crafts to revive the dying handicraft culture and to boost the living conditions of the rural artisans. Matsya Crafts, today, links with various NGOs to spread its work and awareness about the handicraft culture. Various artefacts manufactured by the artisans of Matsya are home decor, home furnishings, studio pottery, giftings and green products. The organization also conducts craft tour and meetings with the artisans. Currently, the organization is striving to attain a Fair Trade Certification.


Craft tours organized by Matsya Crafts


Leave a Reply