About the Toolkit

What is the Toolkit?

The Artisan Toolkit is a business training manual designed for the craft sector in Afghanistan. Covering topics from production to sales to design, the Toolkit reviews standard business practices and provides practical tools to overcome common challenges, enabling you to build your business—for you, your family and your community.

The Toolkit is divided into two levels to address your needs, whether you’re new to business or have years of experience:

  • Level 1 is for new producers and artisans with small informal businesses. It introduces you to basic business concepts and focuses on the local market.
  • Level 2 is for artisans and business owners with registered businesses. It provides the tools to strengthen your business, so you can compete in local, regional and international markets.

The Artisan Toolkit is a richly illustrated, practical guide to building a business and can be used by artisans, craft business owners and organizations that support the craft industry. It aims to help you access new markets, growing your business and the Afghan economy.



How Is the Toolkit Organized?

LEVEL 1

The Level 1 Toolkit is organized into seven chapters that cover key business concepts: the market and relationships in business, production, costing and pricing, marketing, sales tracking, business planning and growth, and developing new products.

These concepts are introduced through the story of Roya, a young woman from Kabul who builds a successful embroidery business. The concepts are emphasized using illustrations and text boxes. Exercises at the end of each chapter help you apply the tools Roya uses and the lessons she learns to your craft business.

Templates of tables used in the Toolkit are located in the Resources Section of the Level 1 Toolkit, as well as in the Resources Section of the website. They are also available on the Download Page.

The Level 1 Toolkit is available in downloadable book, audio and video formats, making it accessible to a wider audience.

LEVEL 2

The Level 2 Toolkit is organized into eight chapters, the first five of which focus on business fundamentals: relationships, production, pricing and costing, marketing and sales. The last three chapters explore how to grow your business: planning for growth, developing new products and finding new customers, including in international markets.

Each chapter includes a description of key concepts, as well as case studies and exercises that help you understand the concepts and apply them to your business. Additional resources, such as templates and references, are in the Resources Section of the website. Templates of the tables used in the Level 2 Toolkit are also available on the Download Page.

The case studies in the Level 2 Toolkit are of fictive businesses, but many of the details and examples are based on successful Afghan and international craft businesses. The tools used in, and lessons learned from, the case studies can be applied to your business, no matter what your craft.

The Level 2 Toolkit is available in downloadable book format.


How Do I Use the Toolkit?

LEVEL 1

1. Artisans
The Toolkit provides information and tools to start and build your business, but it is up to you to use those tools to make your business a success.

  • Read the Toolkit, listen to the audio and watch the video. Think about how to apply the lessons to your business.
  • Do the exercises.
  • Use the templates and tools in your business.
  • Ask your trainer or an experienced business person in your community for help.
  • Share the Toolkit with your suppliers and producers.

The lessons from the Toolkit will have the greatest impact when used with other resources, tools and support from your network, your school, the Internet or NGOs and government agencies that support the craft industry.

2. Trainers

  • Read each chapter, listen to the audio or watch the video with your trainees.
  • Review the concepts and examples in each chapter. Ask questions to ensure trainees understand the concepts. Ask trainees to share their own examples.
  • Do the exercises in the Trainer’s Notes as a group.
  • Encourage trainees to use the templates in the Resources Section of the Toolkit to improve their business practices.
  • Encourage trainees to ask questions.
  • Read Level 2 or refer to the Resources Section of the website for more information.

3. Others
The Artisan Toolkit can also be used by shopkeepers, sales agents, suppliers, NGOs and government agencies to support the craft businesses with which they work.

We wish you the best of luck and every success on your journey!

LEVEL 2

1. Artisans and Craft Business Owners
The Toolkit provides information and tools to build and strengthen your business, but it is up to you to use those tools to make your business a success.

  • Read the Toolkit and think about how to apply the lessons to your business.
  • Do the exercises.
  • Put systems in place to use the templates, tools and practices in your business.
  • Refer to the References Section when you need more information.
  • Ask an experienced business person in your community for help.
  • Refer to specific sections of the Toolkit as needed.
  • Share the Toolkit with your producers, managers and other staff members, as well as your suppliers.

The lessons from the Toolkit will have the greatest impact when used with other resources, tools and support from your network, your school, the Internet or NGOs and government agencies that support the craft industry.

2. Teachers and Trainers

  • Review the concepts and examples in each chapter with trainees. Ask trainees to share their own examples.
  • Use Level 1 videos to support training.
  • Do exercises individually or in a group. Review all exercises as a group. Add your own exercises.
  • Encourage trainees to ask questions.
  • Refer to the Resources Section of the website for more information.

3. Others
The Artisan Toolkit can also be used by retailers, traders, sales agents, suppliers, NGOs and government agencies to support the craft businesses with which they work, and by students to complement their core curriculum.