Saidpur Enterprises comprises two groups: Action Bag Handicrafts and Eastern Screen Printers. Ten Thousand Villages makes purchases from Action Bag Handicrafts. Saidpur Enterprises is located in Saidpur, northern Bangladesh. Its Action Bag subsidiary employs women artisans who make a variety of jute products. Some have husbands who are underemployed; others are widowed. Action Bag provides literacy classes, and training on nutrition, women's legal rights, educational awareness and finance. Women are encouraged to raise livestock to provide alternative sources of cash income and to supplement their families' protein intake.
Following the 1971 war that established Bangladesh, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) established clinics and nutrition centers in Saidpur to help address food shortages and disease. In 1976 MCC started a program to help mothers of malnourished children coming to its nutrition center. This temporary employment program producing jute handicrafts became Action Bag Handicrafts, and now supports artisans selling for the fair trade export market. Through the program, many women have become financially independent, and many have left the program to start their own businesses.
Ten Thousand Villages purchase jute and cotton tote bags from Saidpur Enterprises / Action Bag Handicrafts.
- Artisan Products