KICK Trading (Kisumu Innovation Centre of Kenya) is a registered company with artisans, staff and supporters holding shares. KICK Trading does product development and marketing for Kenyan artisans working out of their own homes and workshops. KICK Trading is based in Kisumu, a city of 800,000 with high unemployment and underemployment. Kisumu has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, which affects many artisans and their families. KICK Trading focuses on creating employment and income generation opportunities for Kenyan artisans, working with disadvantaged artisans, and connecting artisans to global markets on fair trade terms. Artisans hold 20 percent of the company’s shares. KICK Trading is self-supporting, receiving no donor money. Artisan benefits, in addition to shares in the company, include loans for school fees or emergencies, training, counseling, and product development and design help and access to global markets.
The present incarnation of KICK Trading was formed in 2005. (An earlier form of the company, known simply as KICK, existed as a nonprofit development organization from 1994.) KICK Trading was reorganized as an independent company with artisans as stakeholders. Artisans work cooperatively with hands-on involvement in the company, which seeks to build on existing strengths of Kisumu artisans. KICK Trading emphasizes new product development and design. Artisans who create designs receive a percentage of sales for that design, encouraging innovation. Artisans are encouraged to start savings accounts so they have potential to receive business loans. Artisans produce products with recycled wire, sheet metal, wrought iron, water hyacinths rope, papyrus, soda cans and waste paper. Products include ornaments, greeting cards, mobiles, home decor and gift items. Some 70 percent of products are made from recycled material (metal, wire, etc.).
Ten Thousand Villages purchases recycled metal and wire ornaments, wall decor, mobiles, cards, home accents, jewelry and gift items from KICK Trading.
- Artisan Products