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Development Stories – IP for Impact

These stories show how WIPO is supporting entrepreneurs, inventors and creators around the world to use intellectual property (IP) to add value to their products, support business growth, create employment and promote economic development.

Featured – Impact Stories

Photo: Thonma Thepsiri, “WIPO National Expert”, 2024.

Silk Weaving Enhanced by Geographical Indication Helps Preserve Cultural Heritage

Silk weaving has been an art in Laos for more than 1,200 years. According to legend, it all started when the son of a king married the daughter of a Chinese king, and the bride's parents gave her a mulberry tree and silkworms so she could have silk yarn for their clothes.

In Houaphanh province, weavers have continued this tradition and produce handwoven shawls, scarves, and skirts with unique qualities and patterns. "Houaphanh Silk," renowned for its smoothness, vibrant colors, and distinctive patterns, was registered as a geographical indication (GI) in 2020.

News from the Ground

Photo: Mariama Sarge / Mese Energy Solution

From Ideas to Inventions: How IP Tools Transformed Mariama Sarge's Business Journey

Mariama Sarge, a small business owner from The Gambia, embarked on a transformative journey when she attended a workshop on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can use intellectual property (IP) tools to grow their businesses. Her biggest takeaway from the workshop was, as she puts it, learning about IP and “how important it is and how it can help me in my business.”

News from the Ground

Photo: KOOP SF34/KAMANGA INFLUENCERS

Bridging Gaps: How WIPO's New Initiative Supports Migrant Entrepreneurs

In Bilbao’s San Francisco neighborhood, Esther Ogunleye, a 23-year-old journalist from Bilbao with Nigerian heritage, is part of Koop SF 34, a center that supports migrant entrepreneurs with their endeavors. Since joining in 2021, Esther has produced media content for Kamanga – a sub-hub for young content creators at the center – hosts a music show called "SAUGGA BOX," and also guides cultural tours through the neighborhood.

Photo: WIPO/Amiran Gogidze; Nino Basiashvili

Closing Ceremony Marks End of Successful Geographical Indication Project in Georgia

Irakli Khuturidze is a dynamic 21-year-old entrepreneur from Tusheti in Georgia, who has become one of the youngest and most passionate producers of Guda cheese. With a deep connection to the local culture and traditions, Irakli recently took part in an initiative between WIPO and National Intellectual Property Center (SAKPATENTI) to promote the value of the GI for Tushetian Guda cheese.

From Local Markets to Global Success: Unlocking Opportunities with IP for Bangladeshi Women Entrepreneurs

Masuda always dreamed of independence. Through hard work and determination, she has navigated the leather industry in Bangladesh, starting with a single room and two machines, to overseeing a thriving enterprise with 55 employees and a catalog of 200 designs.

Masuda is among 25 participants from all parts of Bangladesh who recently celebrated the completion of a project with a novel approach in Dhaka. Led by WIPO in collaboration with Bangladesh's Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project is part of a broader strategy to use intellectual property (IP) and innovation to meet development goals, notably supporting women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)—a vital component of the nation’s economic and social fabric.

Photo: I Gusti Lanang Dony Septiawan

Transforming Bali's Tourism Through Intellectual Property: A WIPO Project Highlight

A new project to integrate intellectual property (IP) into the local business landscape in Bali, Indonesia has come to a successful conclusion. The initiative, which was a collaborative effort between WIPO and the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, focused on the spa and craft sectors of Bali's vibrant tourism industry.

The project, entitled “Boosting Tourism Development through the use of IP”, aimed to promote IP knowledge and skills through training and mentoring programs, and enabled 25 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to incorporate IP strategies into their business models.

Photo: Freepik

Empowering Rural Resilience in Spain: WIPO's Initiative for Women Artisans in Spain's Abandoned Landscapes

In response to the challenge of rural depopulation, commonly referred to as 'emptied Spain,' the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has initiated a groundbreaking project aimed at empowering women artisans in these regions.

The project aims to empower women artisans in rural Spain by providing them with essential skills and knowledge in intellectual property (IP) protection and management.

Photo: Lupane Women's Development Trust/Hildigard Mufukare

Unlocking IP Insights: Lupane Women's Development Trust Director Reflects on WIPO's Intellectual Property Week

In Lupane district in the Matebeleland Province, Zimbabwe, Hildigard Mufukare emerges as a beacon of empowerment. Serving as the Director of Lupane Women's Development Trust, an association of 423 female weavers, Hildigard has dedicated herself to the art of weaving while championing economic empowerment for women in her community.

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Photo: Perseverance Muzeya/Alzanael Delights

Zimbabwean Entrepreneur Transforms Her Agribusiness Through WIPO's IP Initiatives

Peserverance Muzeya, an entrepreneur from Harare, Zimbabwe, is reshaping the agro-processing and agribusiness landscape. Her Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) symbolizes more than just business – it embodies a commitment to combating poverty, eradicating hunger, and creating employment opportunities.

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Photo: Roba Hamam

Empowering Omani Frankincense Producers

In Oman, producers have for centuries tapped trees to produce the scented resin that becomes Frankincense – a cherished incense whose essential oils are also used as aromas in other products sold worldwide.

Now, Omani Frankincense producers are working, with WIPO’s support, to raise their industry’s organizational efforts for quality assurance through a “geographical indication,” while looking to better brand their individual products and increase sales at home and abroad.

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Photo: The National intellectual Property Center of Georgia - Sakpatenti

Agricultural Producers in Georgia Harness the Power of Branding to Add Value to Their Products

In Georgia, where landscapes merge with time-honored traditions, three generations of dedicated agricultural producers are set to enhance a beloved local product – Tushetian Guda cheese.

Achiko Ichirauli, Irakli Gigoidze, and Vakhtang Bighoidze, representing various generations in Georgia, unite in their commitment to the nation's long-established tradition of specialized agricultural production. Benefitting from favorable natural and agro-climatic conditions and enriched with a distinct culinary heritage, Georgia's Geographical Indication (GI) supported industry serves as a vital pillar of the country's economy.

Women Artisans in Petra, Jordan, Creating a Collective Mark to Brand Their Products

A group of craftswomen from the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, are using modern business practices to boost the reach of their work. With almost 1 million people projected to visit Petra in this year alone, the craftswomen are working to capitalise on this popular destination.

Photo: WIPO/Rama

SMEs from The Gambia Gain Valuable Insights on IP at WIPO Organized Workshop

Babucarr Janko, 27, is a Gambian entrepreneur and founder of Janko's Creation, a business specializing in the production of batik and tie-dye products. Babucarr recently took part in a workshop organized by WIPO on how intellectual property can enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in The Gambia.

Breaking Barriers: Advancing Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica's IP Landscape

Samantha and Najeeb Azan from Kingston, Jamaica are presenting their country’s rich culture and heritage to the world through their unique line of products. Their venture, New Moon Furnishings, established in 2015, specializes in the creation of contemporary bamboo furniture.

With the support of WIPO's Women Entrepreneurs' project, Samantha and more than 25 other women acquired the knowledge needed to trademark their logos and fortify their brands.

Photo: Indie Lights

SANDIDA: A Brand Empowering Strong Women, Sustaining Local Artisans, Preserving Traditions, and Enriching Livelihoods

Women-led producers from villages near the vibrant town of Ghardimaou began working together on this shared brand with a range of traditional products, such as honey, carob-chocolate delicacies, essential oils, and more.

This brand helps promote these products, while proudly showcasing the region's rich history.

This WIPO supported initiative is part of the work under the direction of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property, which oversees the implementation of the Development Agenda.

Photo: Skyline Media Arts

WIPO launches a new IP project for women entrepreneurs in embroidery and related crafts business in Pakistan

WIPO has launched a new project in partnership with IPO Pakistan and the Permanent Mission of Pakistan in Geneva to support more than 40 women Pakistani entrepreneurs in using IP tools to advance their embroidery and related crafts businesses.

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Photo: KAHLI BROWN

WIPO Nigeria Office Introduces "Her Intellectual Property Story" Project for Women Creators

A dozen young female Nigerian photographers and videographers are participating in a new training project, entitled "Her Intellectual Property Story," established by the WIPO Nigeria Office.

The effort launched June 14, 2023, in collaboration with Sony Nigeria and the Art for Humanity Foundation aims to capture the IP experiences of female-led enterprises through documentaries and images from the field generated by the program trainees.

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Photo: Rafat Islam

WIPO Unlocks Practical Benefits for Women-Led SMEs in Bangladesh through New IP Project Launch

In a significant step towards empowering women entrepreneurs, WIPO has initiated a collaborative project with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh. The project aims to unlock the practical advantages of intellectual property for more than 25 women-led SMEs operating across different regions in Bangladesh. The official launch of this project took place on June 4, 2023.

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PHOTO: MAZIMPAKA JEAN PIERRE

Empowering African Women in Agribusiness through Knowledge and Resources: WIPO Regional Conference on IP for Women in Agribusiness

Over 120 inspiring women entrepreneurs in agribusiness from across Africa assembled in Kigali, Rwanda, for WIPO's regional IP conference held from May 15 to 17, 2023. This extraordinary gathering served as a platform for these visionary individuals to explore how IP could elevate the worth of their products and drive the expansion of their businesses.

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Photo: WIPO/Arya

Sustainable Tourism Boost in Bali: SMEs Harness Intellectual Property for Growth

Discover the inspiring journey of Yessy Catrina, Gomgom Panggabean, and Wayan Gede Gunada, innovative entrepreneurs from Bali, as they shape tourism while preserving cultural heritage. The three business owners are also beneficiaries of a project launched on May 16th, 2023, by WIPO and Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy that aims to support sustainable tourism development through IP in Bali and establish Bali as a prominent global destination with a strong and vibrant cultural identity.

Collective marks used as a tool for development for entrepreneurs and SMEs

WIPO is supporting local producers in Bolivia, Brazil, Philippines and Tunisia, encouraging them to use IP tools such as collective marks to add value to their local products and services.

Through this empowering project, more than 420 entrepreneurs and SMEs in rural areas are developing and registering their trademarks. This video was produced as a part of materials for capacity-building.

Impact Stories

Photo: PetaNetra

Augmented-Reality App Helps Visually Impaired People Navigate Indoors in Indonesia

For visually impaired individuals, navigating buildings independently is often impossible without assistance. PetaNetra, a startup founded by Yafonia Hutabarat and two peers —all young software engineers— aims to change this with an indoor navigation app designed to help visually impaired people safely gain independence.

The House of Mausio, a Hobby Turned into a Designer Fashion House in Fiji

In the House of Mausio's manufacturing shop in Suva, Fiji, two staff are busy printing fabric with orange and blue leaves on each side of the printing table, taking turns to firmly apply paint with a squeegee against a stencil-like design.

Behind this venture is Michael Mausio, a dynamic serial entrepreneur who knows how to spot and seize opportunities. The House of Mausio, which blends traditional methods with modern innovation, is one of his notable ventures.

From Sea to Skin in Fiji, a Natural Wonder at the Service of Beauty

To say Debra Sadranu follows her heart would be an understatement. From her early life in Australia as a sales executive to being the head of a thriving cosmetic company in Fiji, her path reflects her unwavering commitment to empowering women and local communities.

Threads of Innovation: Soguiguili Diaz and Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Soguiguili Diaz, founder of RedTuri Panama is weaving cultural preservation and economic empowerment into the vibrant tapestry of Indigenous entrepreneurship. Discover the transformative impact of her RedTuri project and its role in the WIPO Women Entrepreneurship Program, connecting and celebrating Indigenous innovations globally.

From Waste to Wonder: Dried Coconut Leaves Replace Millions of Plastic Straws, Empowering Rural Women in India

When Saji Varghese set out on his early morning walk in October 2017, little did he know that he would make a discovery capable of reducing plastic waste and aiding rural Indian women.

Today, his coconut straws called 'Sunbird' are gaining global recognition as the social enterprise he co-founded strives to meet the increasing national and international demand, bringing Saji’s dream of eliminating plastic straws one step closer to reality.

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Photo: Khaeng Rang Took Wan Co., Ltd.

Egg White Noodles, an Innovation Serving Patients’ Needs and Gourmet Tastes in Thailand

People with chronic diseases often have to follow a strict diet and forgo their favorite food. Umaporn Buranasuksombat, a Thai food scientist, set out to create healthy and tasty alternatives adapted to their medical needs. Her breakthrough invention, “Nimnim” noodles (which means soft in Thai), are egg white noodles that are gluten-free and high in protein that have, rapidly adopted by patients and healthy consumers alike.

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Photo: Honam Naturals / Naana Daniels

From Ghana to Global: Naana Daniels' Journey with Honam Naturals and the Power of Intellectual Property

Originally from Ghana, Naana Daniels’ venture into skincare solutions with her brand, Honam Naturals, was prompted by her personal struggle with lupus and scleroderma, conditions that affected her skin. Naana attributed her conditions in part to environmental factors, which led her to adopt a non-toxic, sustainable lifestyle.

Namibian Roots, Global Reach: Ayesha's Kanuma Beauty

In the heart of Namibia, entrepreneur Ayesha Tjiueza has combined her deep love for the local environment with a passion for community support. Through her brand, Kanuma Beauty, she crafts skin and hair products infused with indigenous plants, providing essential protection against desert climates. Now, with WIPO's support, Ayesha is trademarking her line of cosmetics, haircare, and teas brand, opening doors to international markets and ensuring fair licensing agreements. Ayesha's journey is part of a broader initiative at WIPO, dedicated to training and mentoring some 50 Namibian women entrepreneurs in the use of intellectual property. By safeguarding their products and services, these women are not only nurturing their own enterprises but also fostering economic growth in their communities.

Building FAIR WEAVE in Cambodia: Where Compassion Meets Entrepreneurial Endeavor in Slow Fashion

When Chomnab Ho arrived in the remote village of Phnom Srok on the Cambodian-Thai border for a silk development project, he was unaware of the profound impact his work with weavers would have on his life. In 2013, he established the FAIR WEAVE brand, a social enterprise providing sustainable, eco-friendly handwoven textiles. FAIR WEAVE is based on a B2B business model but seeks to enter the B2C market. WIPO has been helping Chomnab since the Spring of 2023 with creating a sub-brand.

Transforming Eye Health: Herbal Medicine's Impact on Patients in Viet Nam

Dr. Pham Thi Thu Ha is a clinical doctor of traditional medicine in Viet Nam who treats patients with specific eye conditions using drinkable herbal remedies. Dr. Ha, also a researcher, is working to develop new formulations of her treatments in tablet form with the aim of expanding overseas.

Australian Living Seawalls support the growth of species around marine artificial structures.

Researchers at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science have created ecological structures that improve growing conditions for invertebrates and seaweeds and provide shelter for fish around in-water constructions. Living Seawalls were first used in Sydney’s harbors, and installations now span three continents.

Fruit Brand

WIPO is supporting farmers and entrepreneurs in Senegal to create a geographical indication that adds value to a local harvest.

Photo: WIPO/Saez

Disability Empowerment and Cultural Preservation: Kymviet's Journey towards International Brand Expansion and IP Protection

In a small tree-lined street in Hanoi, a colorful storefront advertises Kymviet Space, calling to change the perception of people with disabilities. At the end of a lively, decorated corridor, a four-story building hosts a team of 30 disabled staff producing beautifully stitched and assembled home decoration items.

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Photo: Bá Thi Châm

Researcher Seeks to Conserve and Promote Native Medicinal Plants in Viet Nam

A biochemist in Viet Nam is promoting and conserving native species of medicinal herbs to leverage their health benefits for all. Enter the world of functional food.

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Photo: Hunarmund

Giving the World a Window to Pakistani Artisans’ Skills and Talents

Bringing the talent of artisans from remote areas of Pakistan to light was Hunarmund co-founders’ dream. Find out how they are making this dream a reality.

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Photo: Ushani Design

Blending Handloom Tradition and Technology to Bring Innovative Designs to the Market in Sri Lanka

Do you want to know what “Image weaving” is? Read more about this artistic innovation by a young Sri Lankan designer weaving traditional handloom and technology.

Photo: DR. NGUYEN THU HA

Microorganisms to the Help of Agriculture in Viet Nam

The heavy use of chemical fertilizers, drought, and some agricultural practices affect soil fertility and reduce productivity. In Viet Nam, Dr. Nguyen Thu Ha, a microbiology researcher, invented products based on beneficial microorganisms to help mitigate those issues. Her products improve soil quality, increase crop yields and farmers’ benefits.

Preserving the Art of Algerian Carpet-Making: Discover the Intricate Craft of the 'Babar' Carpet and the Skilled Women of Khenchela

Discover the fascinating art of Algerian carpet-making through this captivating video featuring the 'Babar' carpet, hand-woven by skilled Algerian women in the region of Khenchela.

These talented artisans are not only preserving their ancestral techniques but also innovating and modernizing their craft, passing it down to the younger generation through creative designs.

The women of Khenchela are being supported by WIPO's Algeria office and the Traditional Knowledge Division to create a collective mark to promote and protect their cultural heritage. By preserving this traditional craft, these women are ensuring that their rich history lives on, contributing to their country's economic growth and development.

Painting a Brighter Future: How Daysi Campusano's SME, Arte en Coro, is Making a Difference in the Dominican Republic

The inspiring story of Daysi Campusano and her eco-art endeavor, Arte en Coro, is leaving a positive impact on the Dominican Republic. As the founder of this creative small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), Daysi and her six employees offer unique painting workshops that combine art, fun, and relaxation, benefiting vulnerable children and adults alike.

Thanks to the intellectual property (IP) protection she sought to safeguard her brand and artistic works, Daysi's creative legacy has prospered. From participating in fashion week to utilizing art as a therapeutic tool for children in need, Arte en Coro is making a difference in the lives of many.

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Photo: IPHACK

From Gaming Apps to Nation Branding in Cabo Verde: Youthful Cabo Verdeans Propose Innovative Ideas at WIPO-Organized IP Hack

Twenty-eight-year-old Rui Bento da Graca is among the prize-winning innovators at a recent “IP Hack” hosted by WIPO for young Cabo Verdeans, who used the online event to explore how IP can help stimulate their country’s social and economic development.

Women Entrepreneurs in Cambodia Change the Narrative around Handcraft Work through Social Enterprise

For dozens of impoverished women in and around the Cambodian capital, hand-made, eco-friendly toys are bringing relief.

Senegalese Fashion Designer Satitia Gomis: A Modern Take on Traditional Cloth

25-year-old fashion designer Satitia Gomis from Ziguinchor, Senegal, is weaving the present into the past – by putting a modern twist on traditional cloth from the Manjack, her ethnic group.

Satitia combines the traditional Manjack cloth with current fabrics to produce comfortable and stylish everyday wear. With her fashion brand, Satitia is keeping her cultural heritage alive and setting new trends: “I want to be a source of pride for my Manjack community while also creating something new”, she says.

WIPO supported the development of Satitia’s business under the Indigenous and Local Community Women Entrepreneurship Program.

Healers in Ethiopia are looking beyond their communities to share their traditional medicine

Both Mulu Almaw's herbal skincare products and Getachew Dimtse's shampoos are made with all-natural ingredients, but the similarities don't stop there: By trademarking their products, these entrepreneurs are reaching new markets and growing their businesses – while helping more people with their traditional remedies.

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Photo: Ivannia Lazzaro

WIPO Academy Alumni Spotlight: Ivannia Lazzaro

Ivannia Lazzaro is one of many WIPO Academy alumni applying her intellectual property knowledge and skills in innovative and creative fields. She is an artist and owns a creative small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), which she protects using IP as a tool to ensure her creations live on to serve her business, her family and her community.

Ugandan entrepreneur, teacher and mother, Caroline Matuvo, launches successful detergent brand from her backyard

Caroline Matovu is helping keep her local community clean and safe through her detergent business. She is behind the product 'Trion', which has amassed a significant number of customers including hospitals, schools and supermarkets. 

With a strong desire to keep our world clean and healthy, Caroline's strong brand has allowed her customers to continue making the easy choice of gearing themselves towards her product. 

Through a tailored mentorship program, Caroline is one of many women WIPO is supporting to register their trademarks.

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