Model & Strategy
Nest brings artisan business development, global sector solutions and industry advocacy to artisans around the world. The core of its work focuses on delivering short-term, tailored business development programming to artisans in developing and underserved communities. Nest’s mission is to build a more socially responsible and sustainable industry for handmade production, so that poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment and cultural preservation, become realities for tens of millions of people globally.
Nest uniquely impacts the artisan-brand relationship at multiple points along the supply chain, addressing artisan business’ barriers to production, management and market access by providing a fee-for-service model bringing earned revenue to the organization from brands like Patagonia, West Elm, Eileen Fisher and Stella McCartney. Nest works with over 30 brands.
Recognizing craft as a cornerstone of emerging economies around the world, Rebecca van Bergen saw an opportunity to transform craft into a tool for positive social and economic change. Following this conviction, Rebecca entered a social enterprise business plan competition hosted by Washington University and took home the grand prize: the seed money for Nest. The organization began by micro-bartering — lending artisans money to produce goods, then selling the products to recoup those loans. Seeing value in the third party neutrality of being removed from the supply chain, Nest eliminated sales in 2011 with the aim of sustainability, not dependence.
Rebecca won the Ashoka and C&A Foundation’s Fabric of Change Award in 2016. She is a Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory Fellow, a Cordes Fellow, and GLG Social ImpactFellow. In 2015 and 2016, Rebecca received complimentary CGI membership.
Nest has provided more than 46,000 individual artisans with access to expert-led webinars, phone consultations, onsite fellowship placements, market access opportunities, and a living library of tools.
Nest completed 30+ ethical compliance assessments with major brands in 2016 reaching an additional 10,000 artisans.