Rural Social
Craftpreneur Award

This award is given to three social entrepreneurs in a rural district who has managed to develop their community and create jobs for villagers through producing handicrafts. Due to US sanctions imposed on Iran, it is not possible to hold this event internationally.

Akram Qalandari

Akram Qalandari is an entrepreneur from Qal’e Ganj County, one of the less developed parts of Iran. In addition to reviving and restoring forgotten techniques, Akram has managed to create minimum wage jobs for hundreds of heads of household in the villages of southeast Iran, through holding wicker weaving workshops, teaching how to make wicker-based handicrafts in small villages, and developing markets for these rural products.

Zahra Miri

Zahra Miri, a graduate of Business Economics, has been teaching and producing Siahdoozi (black needlework) and Khamehdoozi (white needlework) since 2016, in Nimruz County, one of the less developed regions of Iran near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. By starting Siahdoozi and folk costume production workshops as well as bringing in experienced masters, Zahra managed to gather around sixty Khamedoozi artisans and create jobs for the women of this region. She has also received regular orders from a foreign country. Zahra’s efforts have helped the local community to move financially forward.

Shohreh Fakhrjanali

Shohreh Fakhrjanali, an entrepreneur in Bandbon village, Qassemabad, Guilan Province, is a master of weaving Chador Shab, a piece of textile with bright colors. By holding several workshops, she has managed to teach women how to make quality Chador Shab and encourage them to keep authentic traditional motifs in their crafts. Shohreh has also supported several groups in launching their businesses and promoting their crafts. Along the same lines, she has introduced Chador Shab to domestic and foreign tourists through workshop visits. All her efforts have played a part in bringing the title of World Craft Village to Qassemabad.