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Online marketplace aggregators of artisan clusters, smaller and larger HCMs, and other brands


Make small-batch creative manufacturing a more significant part of mainstream retail


Bridge the gap between supply and demand of products, raw materials, etc.


Build efficiencies in the ecosystem, organises supply chain

  • Offer market access

  • May offer ancillary critical services — legal, compliance, finance, shipping, etc.

  • Might offer non-financial support for artisan enablement

  • Often support smaller, informal producers to build credit history


Formalise a traditionally informal sector to tackle historic issues of inefficiency and disorganisation


Catalyse domino effect by increasing income at the bottom of the pyramid with a focus on planet

Build scale by expanding the base of artisan suppliers + buyers
Flexibility as a key strategy
Investment ready, designed for scale
  • Hybrid / For-profit social enterprise

  • Aggregator model — brings together many small players

  • Likely to support livelihoods at scale; can go on to employ 500+ artisans

  • Can take B2B or B2C or B2B2C approach

  • Geography and craft agnostic to build scale

  • Show a healthy mix of male and female founders

  • Tend to be capital intensive due to use of technology for platform building

  • Majority of enterprises likely to seek ₹1 crore ($125,000) and above in financing

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Business Hardships

  1. Difficult to build and scale marketplace; HCMs have to build both supply and demand chains

  2. Face roadblocks around formalising a fragmented sector

  3. Find it difficult to build a critical consumer mass

  4. Struggle to bring down operational costs like shipping that drive profitability

Financial Roadblocks

  1. Lack collateral to pledge, therefore HCMs have few to no options for easy access to low-cost capital

  2. HCMs have a strong need for debt for working capital

  3. HCMs find it difficult to access foreign investors due to regulatory limitations — can only access equity, not debt; HCMs end up having to partner with local banks / agencies

  4. Regular equity funds have a lifespan of about 7 years; many HCMs, especially smaller, vulnerable HCMs do not grow that fast

“Impact investors want to save the world at 12%. That’s VC funding, not impact.”



These HCMs face the challenge of trying to do right by artisan communities while building scalable, profitable businesses with a heavy allocation in their budgets for capital-intensive tech platforms.

“There is limited capital available for impact and for-profit social enterprises; it appears as if 80% goes to fintech, leaving everyone else fighting for a small piece of the remaining 20%.”

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Customer Acquisition
Brand & Marketing
Working Capital
Supply Chain Ops
Onboarding Players
Scaling & Expansion
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  • Loan interest rates of 12% - 24% p.a. interest rates are unaffordable

  • Need collateral + credit history but eMarketplace HCMs tend to be asset lite

PE / VC Investors
  • Need quick turnarounds + market rate returns

  • Unwilling to be patient — a key need for a system trying to onboard multiple smaller players that need time to become viable, profitable enterprises

  • Business-savvy HCMs expect complementary support and mentoring that strengthens their business performance and not capital alone

  • HCMs sometimes struggle to know what they need to do to be PE/VC ready

Impact Investors
  • Lack understanding of sector challenges

  • Unlikely to see this model as representative of impact-focused social enterprises

Foreign Investors and Retail Buyers

A significant and ready source but government policies strictly limit what and how capital can flow in, making it either impossible or too expensive for HCMs to access​


  • Allows HCMs to integrate smaller HCMs and producer groups into formal trade and commerce, driving greater inclusion

  • Enables them to train and build capacity among smaller, more vulnerable artisan / producer groups

Supply Chain + PO Financing, Production Advances

Allows HCMs to build a transaction history, establishing a footprint, legitimacy and enabling them to eventually access growth / working capital from local funders / banks

Non-Financial Support

Allows HCMs to leverage buyer connections, logistics, designers and secure guidance on how to operationalise growth

Debt (Low + High Interest) along with easy access

Helps HCMs to address working capital challenges to build a strong and steady revenue stream

Short-Term, Empathetic

Helps HCMs to serve and support vulnerable producer groups and smaller HCMs

Risk-Adjusted Capital

Allows HCMs to:

  • Build / organise supply chains and digitally enable it

  • Meet operating costs for professional hires, renting office space, etc.

  • Invest in marketing and logistics to ensure a smooth supply chain, and impact measurement

“Sustainable makers and service providers are not meaningfully included in value chains with socioeconomic benefits.”


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