The Digital Craft Toolkit is part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures project, aimed to expand crafting business learning opportunities via an online platform. Artists, designers, entrepreneurs or craft students can freely access the toolkit. Modules are available in English and Bahasa Melayu, covering a variety of lessons such as setting business goals, overall business planning, creating design concepts, developing products, sales and marketing, budget management and sustainability. These modules have been developed by Applied Arts Scotland, a non-profit organisation operating in Scotland’s craft industry.

Since its development, British Council Malaysia and Thailand collaborated with Applied Arts Scotland to deliver a training session for 20 craft educators of Institut Kraf Negara. Following the training, the Digital Craft Toolkit was incepted into the institute’s entrepreneurial syllabus which went on to benefit final year students since 2021.

In 2022, British Council Malaysia awarded three grants to adapt and share the Digital Craft Toolkit under the Crafting Futures programme to support Sarawak artisans and craft makers in developing their craft practice and business. Read about our grantees’ projects below.


The 'Sustainibility' module of the Digital Craft Toolkit; Each module starts with a video sharing lessons from artisans and craft entrepreneurs.

Catama Borneo

Supported by the grant, Catama Borneo initiated 'Crafting Business', a series of online training sessions in entrepreneurship and business development for Sarawak craft makers. The sessions from January to March 2022 were aimed at assisting Kuching-based artisans of different experience levels and communities to develop their craft businesses.

Based on the modules of the Digital Craft Toolkit, Catama collaborated with experienced craft entrepreneurs Marilyn Ang (Flint & Steel Borneo), Lucille anak Awen Jon (Pungu Borneo) and Jackie Fong (Tanoti) as facilitator-mentors to deliver the training and mentoring sessions.

Artisans and craft designers who attended the course were supported and empowered to overcome challenges in their craft business, such as product development, marketing and improving resources. Participants were tasked to workshop and present their business proposals guided by the Digital Craft Toolkit. From the programme experience and guidance from a mentor, one of the participant artisans took the step to register her craft business. Post-programme, participants continue to develop connections made, initiate collaborations, seek guidance from each other and participate in craft markets organised by Sangon & Co.

Watch highlights of the Crafting Business series in the video above!

The Tuyang Initiative

Inspired by a sharing session with Applied Arts Scotland and British Council grantee-trainers from the region, The Tuyang's community manager, Adrian Milang and art leader, Victoria Muhan set out to hyper-localise the Digital Craft Toolkit for their communities in rural areas.

The Tuyang carried out several scoping visits to identify the needs and challenges of the targeted communities of two interior areas in Sarawak. To counter the digital access challenges, the virtual toolkit was converted into physical booklets, which were produced in Bahasa Melayu that included examples related to the local context.

By February 2022, The Tuyang, carried out a 3-day workshop empowering the communities in Sungai Asap, Belaga and Long Laput, Baram, by sharing and exchanging crafts and entrepreneurial knowledge.

The initiative also benefitted facilitators of the 'Long Laput Community Based Rehabilitation Centre', a collective of community social workers who empower people with disabilities via education and everyday practical skills. One of the centre's initiative is to teach craft-making as a life skill for their students' livelihoods.

Since the workshop, the team at The Tuyang continues to build on community engagement and supports the cohort's network building and participations in Miri craft events and markets.

Watch highlights of the workshop held at Uma Belor above!

The Ranee of Sarawak

In this exciting pilot project, The Ranee's team worked with longhouse communities in the Betong Division of Sarawak to collect data and understand the journey of craft making. With the focus on elevating local beautiful crafts, The Ranee took on the grant opportunity to improve the communities' sustainability in production and marketing. 

The Ranee organised training, workshop and knowledge exchange sessions, documented processes and material research, as well as opportunities for craft makers involvement in marketing and retailing. All this was made possible through collaborations with Agrokraft Borneo Committee, Betong Community Rehabilitation Centre, Women's Bureaus in Betong, Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS), Rajah Puteh Production and further support from CENDANA and the Sarawak Craft Council.

The grant seed funded The Ranee's vision to establish a community space for Betong's arts community which was launched in December 2021 and where all the activities above took place.

Together with the community, Studio C, a pop-up craft store that houses a curation of cotemporary, lively and inspiring selection of Malaysian craft products was also realised. Studio C was tucked in a popular Kuala Lumpur creative hub called REXKL and welcomed many arts and craft enthusiasts over a 6-months period.

Two participating community craft development leaders, Ms Ensuna and Madam Niok, went on to be sponsored by Sarawak Craft Council to participate in National Craft Day (Hari Kraft Kebangsaan) in Kuala Lumpur as part of the Sarawak Pavillion in 23 February to 3 March 2022.

Participants shared that the Digital craft Toolkit training gave them the knowledge and confidence to showcase their crafts, articulate about the processes involved and rightly value products.

Watch "The Bigger Picture" and "Sustainability", short films about this project, above!

Additionally, check out the short film of The Ranee's project journey, "A Weaver's Tale".

 Explore the Digital Craft Toolkit 

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