Global Artisans is a Utah Nonprofit Corporation with a mission to provide economic empowerment to refugees living in the United States. Our aim is to make the adjustment to life in America easier and shorter.
Meet the Team
Founder & President
The idea for Global Artisans was born when Mark was serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Microbusiness Connection Center in Salt Lake City.
He noticed that A) the most effective method for fostering entrepreneurship amongst refugees seemed to be training and programming based on specific industries, and B) a large group of refugee women had formed a sewing club that was unstructured and didn’t offer an outlet for them to sell their wares. Mark set out to create a social enterprise using a sustainable and self-sufficient business model that could deliver social and economic benefits to refugees.
Mark graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. After a year of working at a big bank he sought a more impactful career path, which landed him in a year of service with AmeriCorps. His belief that empowerment — providing the opportunities and tools needed to improve one’s situation — as the most effective method for serving those in need, led to his dedication to building a solution in Global Artisans.
Heidi is an expert in the field of entrepreneurship, and is passionate about applying her knowledge to solve the issues facing refugees.
As a doctoral candidate in the Entrepreneurship & Strategy department at the University of Utah, her research explores the special challenges associated with enrolling various stakeholders in entrepreneurial settings, specifically how entrepreneurs shift from the informal to the formal economy. This path has led her to the refugee business community as she has worked closely with Salt Lake’s Spice Kitchen over the past year.
Heidi received her undergraduate degree in Finance from BYU and her MBA from Oxford, where she was awarded a prestigious fellowship with the University’s technology transfer department. Prior to graduate school, she worked in financial advisory services for six years where she specialized in intellectual property litigation and represented some of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley. Heidi is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and has served on the board of new ventures from Stanford University and Oxford University as well as serving as an advisor to more than a dozen start-ups around the globe.
Global Artisans could not begin to achieve its mission without volunteers. MG has been in the business of bringing fabric (and people!) together through sewing for decades.
She discovered the joys of working with people who want and need help in developing and improving skills via volunteer opportunities at Salt Lake’s Refugee Education and Training Center. There she started as a skills instructor for the sewing club and helped develop the “Sewing for Self-Sufficiency” course curriculum. She is confident that Global Artisans has the potential to positively impact the lives of her students, and is excited to help work towards the organization’s goals.
MG earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Education from Brigham Young University. She retired after a 37-year tenure as a Family and Consumer Science teacher, shortly before beginning her work with refugees.
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