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The VC browses the enterprise stand
The Vice- Chancellor browses the enterprise stand on the parade

Internal News - 28 November 2008

Bolivian handicrafts go on sale in Students' Union shop

A range of fairly traded Bolivian handicrafts go on sale in the Students’ Union shop on Monday, imported to the UK by SIFE Bath social enterprise project Esperanza Economica.

The scarves, gloves and other knitwear products are made by disadvantaged women in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.

Alexa Bellingham, project leader for Esperanza Economica, said: “As the Bolivian market for these products is saturated, exporting them for sale in the UK provides a reliable source of income for the women, who benefit from fair trade principles.”

Ideal as Christmas gifts, the Esperanza Economica product range starts at £10. A variety of styles and designs are available, all individually hand-made. Each item is tagged with the name of the craftswoman responsible for it, adding that personal touch to the product. An even wider selection of designs will be available in the coming weeks.

The Vice-Chancellor, who bought a scarf made by Miriam Miranda said: "What a fantastic way for students to get involved with developing communities across the world. The products are great, and knowing that Miriam made my scarf really adds to its appeal."

SIFE Bath is the University’s arm of a national scheme with a focus on creating economic opportunities for others. A team of Bath students co-ordinates a number of projects, including Esperanza Economica, which focus on teaching others the principles of market economics, entrepreneurship, personal success skills, financial literacy, business ethics and environmental sustainability. Each year, the team enters the national SIFE competition and, in 2007, won the ‘Rookie’s Champion’ and ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ awards.