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Etsy Joins White House and Congress to Celebrate National Week of Making

Etsy expands Craft Entrepreneurship commitment to help create a Nation of Makers

June 12, 2015 -- !-- AddToAny BEGIN -->

BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --Responding to the President's call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, Etsy is furthering our commitment to build a better economy one that puts people at the center of commerce, promotes local, sustainable production, and empowers anyone to build a creative business on their own terms. Etsy, a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods, is comprised of more than 1.4 million creative entrepreneurs who collectively sold more than $1.93 billion worth of goods in 2014.

Today, we are expanding our commitment to fostering public-private partnerships that empower creative people in underserved communities. Etsy's Craft Entrepreneurship program provides access to entrepreneurship training for adults with existing craft skills, working with cities to help realize the vision of an inclusive, thriving Etsy Economy. Using Etsy's e-commerce platform as a learning lab, participants in Craft Entrepreneurship classes learn skills like pricing, product photography, and search engine optimization, and apply these skills to their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Our commitment: Etsy will expand our Craft Entrepreneurship program to 30 cities by June 2016. Craft Entrepreneurship is now in 19 cities across the United States and United Kingdom and more than 500 online shops have already been created as a result of the program. The five newest partner cities include: Cookeville, TN; Atlantic City, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Hazard, KY, which is in a Promise Zone recently designated by the Obama Administration. In addition, Etsy will organize regional roundtables among Etsy sellers and local government representatives, and will use those listening sessions to document best practices for other local leaders that want to foster greater entrepreneurship in their communities.

"We are working closely with the Etsy community and government partners to build a people-powered economy, with creative entrepreneurs at the center," said Althea Erickson, Etsy's Global Policy Director. "Makers are helping build more resilient local economies by creating their own jobs, sourcing their materials from other local businesses, and providing consumers access to personal, meaningful goods. Though these businesses are small most Etsy sellers are sole proprietors working out of their homes they add up to something big."

At last year's inaugural White House Maker Faire, Etsy released a report outlining how government can take action to capitalize on the promise of the maker movement to build a better economy: A Call to Action: Five Proposals to Support the Emerging Maker Economy. Since then, Etsy and Etsy sellers have met with dozens of government officials, policymakers and small business leaders around the world to explain the challenges micro-businesses face and the support they need.

"Policymakers are waking up to the fact that the nature of work is changing around us, and the impact that has on their constituents," continued Erickson. "As middle-skill, middle-wage jobs continue to decline, Etsy and other platforms directly respond to a societal shift toward empowering, flexible entrepreneurship that generates needed supplemental income."

As part of the National Week of Making, Etsy will participate in the "Breadth of Making" event at the National Maker Faire on July 12, and today's Week of Making Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Panel at 10:20 am ET. Watch the livestream at Etsy also participated in a panel on the Maker Economy and Workforce Development at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire, sponsored by the Congressional Maker Caucus.

About Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace where millions of people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. The Etsy ecosystem includes creative entrepreneurs who sell on our platform, thoughtful consumers looking to buy unique goods in our marketplace, responsible manufacturers who help Etsy sellers grow their businesses and Etsy employees who maintain our platform and nurture our community. Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world, and we're committed to using the power of business to strengthen communities and empower people.

Etsy was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.

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