Etsy Maker Cities

We're investing in local communities committed to creative entrepreneurs.

We believe inclusive creative communities build stronger local economies.

We believe creative entrepreneurship has the power to provide meaningful opportunities for traditionally marginalized groups, and build stronger local economies. We also believe that the greatest potential to build inclusive economies comes from collaborative community efforts.

That’s why the Etsy’s Maker Cities grant program supports local creative communities by investing in innovative projects aimed at better helping marginalized groups to participate in the creative economy.

Our 2017 Grantees

Open Works—Baltimore, Maryland

Open Works was awarded an Etsy Maker Cities Program Grant to expand an existing program, Moms as Entrepreneurs (MAE), which will teach craft, life, and business skills to low-income creative entrepreneurs of color. In partnership with the Baltimore Etsy Seller team, led by Keisha Ransome, they have designed a comprehensive training program that will not only support program participants, but also serve as a model for evolving the workforce development system to support entrepreneurship training and development. The government stakeholders involved are the Assistant Director for Cultural Affairs at the City's Office of Promotion and the Arts.

The Berlin Kreativ Kollektiv—Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Kreativ Kollektiv was awarded an Etsy Maker Cities Research Grant to conduct bottom-up research. Their research aims to quantify the creative community in Berlin, with a specific focus on the challenges faced by multi-national creative entrepreneurs that are new to the country. Led by Emma Wood, Annemarie Schumacher, and Iris Pohlgeers, the BKK will present their findings to the local government. The government stakeholders involved are the Head of Economic Development and the Team Leader for EU Cultural Affairs and Industry. We are confident that this research project will lead to impactful outcomes to help foster creative entrepreneurship in Berlin.

We're excited to follow the 2017 Etsy Maker Cities Grantees as they bring their plans to life, and looking forward to continue developing new ways for local city leaders and the Etsy community to connect and thrive. If you're interested in receiving Maker Cities updates or learning about opportunities to get involved in the future, please let us know by completing the form below.

History of Maker Cities

In May 2016, we brought local government officials and members of the Etsy community together under one roof for the first ever Etsy Maker Cities Summit in Brooklyn, New York. At the Summit, these groups came together and broke into city-specific Action Teams to dream up initiatives to bring home to their home towns and implement together.

After two days of exploration, ideation, and analysis, several themes emerged around empowering micro-entrepreneurs and investing in creative local economic development. Here were some big takeaways:

  • Diversity and Accessibility: Communities crave the ability to bridge divides across languages and neighborhoods, introducing mentors, facilitators, translators, and advocates where they're needed
  • Makerspaces: The desire to create creative communities alongside physical spaces for making was shared by many cities at the Summit
  • Manufacturing and Scaling: Recognizing the importance of small batch manufacturing is vital to local economic development in Maker Cities, and many teams expressed interest in manufacturing education for their communities
  • Resource Sharing: Creating a way for resources to be shared organically within a community is crucial for Maker Cities.
  • Collaboration and Breaking Down Silos: The need to break away from a singular point of view is essential for long term economic and creative growth. To do that, each community must bring a multiplicity of perspectives and resources around the table for discussion.
  • Advocacy and Education: Policymakers and makers alike must widely communicate the value makers bring to a city, increasing maker visibility while understanding the specific needs of each city.
    We learned so much from the summit experience and saw how enthusiastically communities banded together in support of this work. We also learned that by shifting our model, Etsy and partner cities will be better equipped to support the development and advancement of local creative economies by maximizing our collective resources.

2016 Maker Cities

We are thrilled to recognize the following Etsy Maker Cities Action Teams have completed their project plans.


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