lema initiative


Many women around the world spend day and night creating artisan goods so they can help send their kids to school and feed their families.  However, these beautiful handmade goods are rarely appreciated for their quality or rustic style because rural weaving cooperatives lack the resources to export their products or the opportunities to grow. The Lema Initiative is a grassroots foundation started, in partnership with Social Entrepreneur Corps, to provide consulting and exportation services to cooperatives and artisan groups around the world.

We are a social business located at Duke University with the goal of selling fair trade items and maintaining full transparency of our organization.  We strive to succeed in business while making a positive impact in the global community. The revenue from every product we sell goes back to the women who work at our partner cooperatives to help expand their incomes and help their children receive an education. Additionally, we are committed to donating a large percent of our proceeds to Centro Exploritivo and other important social projects in Guatemala and beyond.  

To learn more about the organizations we are trying to help, click here

To see the fair trade items available for sale right now, click here


Rosalinda Tay on a traditional Mayan Waist Loom in Sololà, Guatemala.  Each handbag is individually hand crafted, and takes about 2 days to finish.  Rosalinda is using her proceeds to send her 3 children to school in Guatemala.

Helping People help their Communities