Rede Asta is a social business that empowers artisan women in Brazil by improving their business and giving visibility to their handmade products. Through trainings, the creation of production networks and sale channels, Rede Asta helps artisans and their communities to improve their products and have access to larger markets, always keeping in mind the principles of fair trade where the artisan gets the larger cut.

The story of Rede Asta started when the Founder, Alice Freitas, set off on a journey to travel the world, with the goal of finding success stories of entrepreneurs that made a difference to the world with their business. Inspired by that journey, Alice planted the first seeds of what is now Rede Asta. Alice shares TIE’s vision that the commercial world can and should address the main social problems the world faces.

Today Asta supports 60 productive groups across 10 states in Brazil, having improved the lives of more than 4.000 women. Their sales network consist in two stores in Rio, their online store and corporate sales.


One of the biggest challenges they faced was to climb the business model, while increasing the social impact.

After giving it considerable thinking, and receiving the support of the Newton Fund of the British Council, Alice and her partners came up with the idea for Asta’s School of Artisans – a business school tailored to the artisans that will help them improve their sales, formalize and manage their business and market their products. It’s a dynamic capacity building program focused on improvement, growth and autonomy of small artisans groups.

Their hope is that The School of Artisans will work as the foundation on which the other strategies will develop: investing in the development of the groups means they will be able to create better products, that will generate more sales, and therefore, a higher monthly income for the artisans and the company.

The School of Artisans will revolutionize the supported offered by Asta to dozens of production groups. It will give the artisans the tools to take their business in the own hands and grow.

After 10 years working with production groups, Asta realized that the lack of marketing and communication expertise have proved to be one of the most critical issues on groups’ growth effort. Poor communications has prevented them from selling more and to larger audiences, as some groups have a really hard time even explaining what they and what they stand for.

This TIE placement will help Rede Asta create the strategies and materials that will be used in the Marketing & Communications courses. It will involve strategic thinking, research, piloting strategies with a control group, and then adapting the strategy to be applied in the other 15 groups that current attend the School. The idea is to help Asta think of what would work for the artisans, in terms of communications and positioning themselves, with the tools they have, in order to improve their reach and their work.