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Artisan Accelerator Program FAQs


1) I am a past Artisan Accelerator participant, can I apply to take part in future Accelerator classes?


We are not currently accepting applications from past Accelerator participants for the 2021 class in order to give other businesses the opportunity to participate in the newly designed program this year. If you are a past Accelerator participant and would like to be involved as a peer mentor in 2021, please email [email protected]. We will revisit this policy for future classes.

2) I have applied for the Accelerator in the past but have not been accepted. Should I consider reapplying this year?

The selection process for the Accelerator has always been highly competitive. With the new program structure we are introducing in 2021, we are opening up the opportunity for more businesses to begin the program. We would encourage you to reapply if you think your business is a good fit.

3) I’ve heard about the new structure for the 2021 Artisan Accelerator program, what are the key takeaways?

There are several important shifts in the program structure that are important to know:

  1. We are organizing the program around three distinct programming modules: Capacity Building, Sourcing & Market Access, and Ethical Handcraft.
  2. It will be our largest class yet! We’re welcoming more businesses to join the Capacity Building module of the program than ever before.
  3. Not everyone who starts in the program will be invited to complete all three modules. Each module has an increasingly dedicated focus on a smaller cohort of participants making the program more intense and targeted to your specific business needs as you move through it.
  4. We’re extending the timeline. Starting in 2021, what was historically a 12-month program will become an 18-month program. This shift will allow businesses to more fully engage and focus on the content and it better aligns with the time required to complete the Ethical Handcraft program, which is offered as the final module in the Accelerator. This means April 2023 will be the next opportunity to apply for the program.

4) You mentioned that not everyone who starts in the program will be invited to complete all three modules. What does that mean for my business if we’re accepted into the program?

At three specific points in the program—once per module—participants will be asked to fill out an additional questionnaire to apply for a spot in the next module. These questionnaires will build on your initial application and further target specific criteria to help determine which businesses will be best positioned for a successful experience. For example, we may dive deeper into your Supply chain structure and current visibility when we’re considering which businesses will be most successful to advance to the third and final Ethical Handcraft module.

5) If I am welcomed into the 2021 Accelerator class but am not selected to move through the entire program, do I have to reapply in 2023 and start from the beginning?

Yes. The capacity building module is designed to address key business needs in an increasingly targeted manner. In our experience, these business challenges are often many and tend to evolve over time. Although businesses that reapply in subsequent years will begin with capacity building support, the content and learning will be designed to meet your business needs at that moment, which may be different from what they are right now.

6) When will I hear back from Nest on the status of my application?

The application period closes at 11:59pm ET on May 7. Application review and interviewing will take place over the subsequent three weeks with an aim to announce the 2021 Accelerator class in early June. The program kicks off in July.