Founded by Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, Monkeybiz is an economic upliftment project in South Africa dedicated to reviving the traditional craft of African beadwork and empowering women to become financially independent. Since 2000, Monkeybiz has supported over 300 bead artists to continue creating these unique artworks. All profits for the sale of artworks go back into the community where bead artists are provided a basic income, year-end bonuses, and funeral cover for their immediate families.

The crowning achievement of Monkeybiz is that it recognizes and develops the artistic ability of people who have never had the opportunity to express themselves through art. Monkeybiz provides a platform for beaders to become artists within their own right. Each piece is designed and made by the beaders in their own patterns and colors, and although there is a standard range of animal types, when each artist makes her own animal, every piece becomes unique.

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