Since 2012, Craft Afrika has hosted numerous peer to peer learning sessions for the artisan and design community. These sessions have focused on various aspects of creative enterprise, including intellectual property.

To gauge the impact of our work, we conducted a survey with a focus group of 32 entrepreneurs on the various focus areas we have covered. While the results were revealing in many respects, it came as no surprise to discover that the least impact was in the area of intellectual property (IP).

Despite the fact that all polled participants responded in the affirmative to the importance intellectual property rights, 42% stated that they (still) did not understand it, 38% stated it was too expensive with no guarantees on ROI, 14% stated it was not an immediate priority and 6% gave no reason when asked why they had not taken conclusive action towards registering their IP.

Analyzing this information, we recognized the need to create a more dynamic learning experience and tangibly demonstrate intellectual property at work.

IP at Work – an intervention

IP at work is a one-year pilot program that aims to catalyze the uptake of intellectual property rights within the sector by addressing the gaps in the learning and application process.

It seeks to provide technical and partial financial support to 10 artisans and designers as they go through the successful completion of an intellectual property cycle – from conception to monetization.

The resulting narratives from this process will form the basis of case studies – content that can be utilized as a point of reference by the larger community to demonstrate not only the process but the value of intellectual property in the artisan and design sector.

Project goals and objectives

Overall goal:

i. To demonstrate the potential of IP as a business asset in the sector

Specific objectives:

i. To create opportunity for practical understanding and application of a seemingly ‘far-off’ concept

ii. To provide documented evidence of process, points of reference and case studies

iii. To boost innovator confidence in the sector

To achieve on these goals, the program will utilize both theoretical and practical skills workshops, mentorship and goal-oriented technical support.

Selection criteria

Interested applicants should:

1. Be duly registered as business entities

2. Maintain up to date financial records

3. Work in one of these artisan/design categories:

Garden/outdoor furniture and accessories, floor/area rugs, storage, lighting, tabletop + table top accessories, jewelry + fashion accessories, soft furnishings, gift items, toys, indoor furniture, wall decoration, bath and body products

4. Display innovation, creativity and originality in the product offering

5. Be based in one of these counties

  • Nairobi
  • Laikipia
  • Machakos
  • Nakuru

6. Undertake to cover the cost associated with IP registration (minimum 30,000 KES)

7. Be committed for the duration of the program (Important: While the program by no means requires full time commitment, workshop and mentorship sessions will require that participants are available for roughly 15-20 hours spread through out the program. Practical application will require that participants carry out assigned tasks at their own discretion but within the time period specified. Please read through this link for more information here)

Interested? Applications close 7 October 2016

Apply Now

(image courtesy)

Sponsors and partners






(Image copyright: WIPO)