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Ahkun is a New York based non-profit that connects micro-funded entrepreneurs with the U.S. market so that they can sell their goods and grow their businesses.

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The last century or so has been all about mass produced goods. Everybody wants what everyone else has. If all your friends had a Chinpokomon, then you’d want one too. That’s starting to change. More and more people are interested in handcrafted, bespoke goods. Consumerism is changing, albeit slowly. Additionally, more and more people are looking to do good when they make purchases. Whether it’s wearing a Livestrong bracelet or TOMS Shoes, people like showing off their inner “do gooder.” Ahkun is a New York, NY based non-profit that serves the intersection of these two consumer trends. They “work with entrepreneurs who have received microloans” by connecting “them to the global marketplace–creating sustainable businesses and closing the gap between microfinance lenders and borrowers, consumers and producers.” In other words, Ahkun allows you to buy handmade goods from people who are doing their part to grow developing economies.

Ahkun Means Thank You

It’s cool enough to get a hand knitted scarf or hand sewn dress made by some hipster in Brooklyn, but it’s even cooler to get a scarf made by a woman who is helping to build her community in Cambodia. Even in a most selfish act like buying something for yourself, you can do good because of the power of Ahkun. They’re a very new non-profit, and they’re only in the early stages of working with entrepreneurs who have been funded through Kiva, but there’s a ton of promise here. They’re not explicitly hiring full-time, but most early stage non-profits aren’t. They do have unpaid internships posted on Idealist in Outreach and Partnerships, Strategy and Marketing, and Development and Fundraising. Maybe you can start a conversation with them about a bigger, more permanent role. You’d have to be able to offer a lot of value early on, but it’s worth a shot.

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