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Pangea Artisan Market and Café Located at IFC Celebrates Bolivia Day, June 7


In Washington, D.C.:
Anna Hidalgo

Phone: (202) 458-7822

Email:
ahidalgo@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., June 7, 2006-Pangea Artisan Market and Café, located at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), hosted “Bolivia Day” on June 7.  The day’s events consisted of a brown bag panel discussion on “Indigenous Peoples,” followed by a book signing by Kevin Healy, author of “Llamas, Weavings, and Organic Chocolate: Multicultural Grassroots Development in the Andes and Amazon of Bolivia.”  That evening, Pangea will host a Bolivian cultural event and evening reception.

Pangea had its grand opening on May 22, 2006.  Among the opening event guests was World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who was on hand to lead the morning ribbon cutting. "Pangea provides a window into the work that the World Bank Group does with local communities in developing countries, and in assisting socially-oriented enterprises to become sustainable businesses," Mr. Wolfowitz said. "We're excited to share these stories with the public, and to help the grassroots producers we work with to gain market access. We are also looking forward having Pangea as a venue for a continuing conversation about important issues in international development. "


With its unique combination of handcrafted products and interactive learning opportunities, Pangea presents a unique shopping experience for customers. The new retail store and café, operating out of IFC headquarters at Pennsylvania Avenue and 21st Street, will sell handicrafts made by skilled artisans from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Featured products include crafts, home décor, jewelry, accessories, gourmet coffee and small food items.

Pangea’s opening week theme was Women’s Economic Empowerment. Throughout the week, the store hosted brown bag lunches and panel discussions related to the theme, featuring the leaders of three remarkable social enterprises: Hagar in Cambodia, SEWA in India, and Gone Rural in Swaziland. Each organization has a compelling story to tell about its work with disadvantaged women, and its goal of ensuring a sustainable livelihood for these communities.  “Pangea has given us an outlet for our product in the United States, so not only are we selling, but we are able to grow our business through this wonderful store,” said Zoe Dean-Smith, managing director of Gone Rural.


In addition to hosting special events and discussions, Pangea enhances the visitor’s experience with interactive kiosks that narrate the individual stories behind each product.  “With Pangea, we want to involve the public and other partners in a discussion of how business can engage more proactively in the fight against poverty,” said Harold Rosen, director of IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative. Mr. Rosen’s group works with a commercial retail operator that manages Pangea’s merchandising and sales, while GBI designs and implements the educational and outreach programs of the store.

GBI works with enterprises with social missions from poor and disadvantaged communities all over the world.  By providing business services, and financing and marketing solutions to these small businesses that otherwise would not have the capacity to develop and expand, their local economies are exposed to growth, sustainability, and competitiveness.  This partnership ultimately results in the creation of more employment opportunities and increased incomes for these communities.

If you are interested in learning more about Bolivia Day and other events, please contact Vanessa Ferragut at
vferragut@ifc.org.