Business Overview

The Nisbundorgan Artisan group is a cooperative dedicated to preserving Guna culture through the creation and sales of traditional textiles and accessories. The group currently has 48 members and a storefront strategically located on the Panamerican highway.

Nisbundorgan Artisan Group - Ibedi Guna, Panama

Economic Challenge

Meaning shooting star in the indigenous Guna language, the Nisbundorgan Artisan Group is a cooperative that sells such artisan crafts as molas, vinchas, and other accessories regularly adorned by women in the community, but also many items commonly purchased as souvenirs for travelers. The group is continuously looking for ways to expand their storefront that sits at the entrance to the community on the Panamerican highway through signage and display of their crafts for travelers to see from the road.

  • Business Owner(s): 48 person cooperative
  • Date Established:  March 18, 2014
  • Community Members Involved:  48 local female artisans

Economic Challenge

As the group has grown quickly in both membership and economic activity, it requires an updated approach to bookkeeping and inventory management. Also, this artisan group faces competition from similar organizations that are able to sell their crafts in Panama City. Tourists may be more inclined to purchase the easily accessible items in the city rather than in their community.

Business Solution

The Business

The Nisburdogan Artisan Group produces high-quality crafts and a dedicated membership. With their strategic storefront on the Panamerican highway, their local operation faces little competition. Additionally, they have begun to allow local artisans from nearby communities also utilize the space, which helps support the cultural conservation of indigenous communities. The Group also holds membership in the Ibedi Guna Community Bank, giving the ability to properly save profits and access to capital to facilitate growth going forward.

Next Steps

In order to continue their development, the NIsburdogan Artisan Group requires the following actions:

1: Update bookkeeping and administrative practices
2: Implement inventory system
3: Expand sales operation to reach broader markets

Page Last Updated: October 04, 2017