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Indigenous and Local Community Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship based on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions celebrates the rich and diverse cultures and traditions of Indigenous peoples and local communities around the world, strengthening their sense of identity and belonging, as well as creating jobs and generating income.

However, Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs often face difficulties in securing and managing their intellectual property (IP) rights as a way of positioning their tradition-based products and services in the marketplace or prevent misappropriation and free-riding on their cultures by third parties.

WIPO provides practical assistance to Indigenous and local communities entrepreneurs to make strategic and effective use of intellectual property tools in support of their businesses.


Training, Mentoring and Matchmaking Program on IP for Indigenous and Local Community Women Entrepreneurs

This program aims to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity by strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local community women entrepreneurs to use intellectual property tools in support of their entrepreneurial activities.

Webinar series: How to Protect and Promote Your Culture

This webinar series focuses on intellectual property tools that can be useful for Indigenous peoples and local communities in the protection and promotion of their wealth of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.


Top tips for Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs

For tips on how the intellectual property system can support Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs both on and offline, check out the links below:

Uros woman selling souvenirs on floating island
(Photo: GETTY/hadynyah)

Protecting your tradition-based products and services with IP

Explore our top tips for Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs looking to use intellectual property.

Maasai nomadic man using a tablet
(Photo: GETTY/Tempura)

Taking your tradition-based business online

Explore our top tips for Indigenous and local community entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses online.

Publications, studies and documents

WIPO provides a variety of information resources to facilitate the understanding of issues and options available in relation to the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, TK and TCEs

General information on the interface between IP and GRs, TK and TCEs

Intellectual Property and Folk, Arts and Cultural Festivals

A practical guide on IP and cultural interests for festival organizers

Protect and Promote Your Culture

A practical guide on IP and culture for Indigenous peoples and local communities

Boosting Tourism Development through Intellectual Property

Helpful information on IP, tourism and culture for non-IP specialists

Background Brief - No. 4

A brief introduction to IP considerations for arts festival organizers

Background Brief - No. 5

A brief introduction to using the existing IP system for traditional handicrafts