The Social Impact of Making a World of Difference
Making a world of difference and having a social impact is important to these women entrepreneurs. Each in their own way has found a way to combine entrepreneurism with giving back to some of the most impoverished communities on the African continent. What better way to connect with your customers than introducing them to products that can help change the status of vulnerable people in this world.
Introducing 3 women entrepreneurs making a world of difference
The owner of I Am Just One Jewelry, Krista Jefferson, is also an award winning photographer. Krista’s journey to social entrepreneurism began when she took a picture of a young cancer patient and a clown at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto that won her a trip to Uganda as a prize in a photography contest.
Krista went to Uganda to photograph people in different villages. During this trip she heard the stories of Ugandan women, like Anek Grace, who had been abducted and forced to be child soldiers. Many were child soldiers for up to 8 years, after which some were abandoned and some escaped. More than a few had children. Once back in their villages, these women had to make a living for themselves and their children. So they started to make colorful jewelry from PAPER, which they rolled into shapes, painted and strung into stunning necklaces and bracelets.
Krista bought one of the necklaces as a souvenir. When she came back to Canada, people began to notice her necklace. They were complimenting it – but also listening to the stories of the hands who had made it. On her photography blog she asked if anyone would like to buy their own necklace to support the women at Watoto’s Living Hope program.
In two weeks over 200 necklaces were sold. A waiting list grew and grew and… JustOne was conceived. A large portion of the proceeds is returned to Uganda to help these women become self-sufficient.
With each piece of jewelry, Krista adds the story of a child soldier on a card inserted in the box. I carry this card in my wallet and I wear my necklace a lot, because like Krista, it is an opportunity to share the story and inspire someone else to buy the jewelry.
Tutu Bundu – Founder Tesmaraneh Brand
This idea for Tesmaraneh Brand is the brainchild of Tutu Bundu of Sierra Leone. She and her team have been planning the company launch for a couple of years and in 2016 it has finally come to fruition, proving dreams can come true. The introductory phase is now in place with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.
Tutu wants education to be a right for African girls, not just an opportunity and launching her brand is a way to achieve this, while at the same time helping local impoverished tailors.
Helping low-income tailors and promoting girls education in Africa is the core of the Tesmaraneh Brand. The brand plans to sponsor and introduce programs that promote girls access to education and also create distribution channels for the designs of tailors in these countries.
The bright, bold fabrics are at the heart of all the designs and they are truly memorable. To see the variety of products, go to . Currently all our products are made to order. You have the opportunity to influence the design and you can even choose the color you prefer. Tesmaraneh clothing and accessories are also available to wholesalers.
Tesmaraneh is not just another fashion start up looking to take the world by storm! We are a group of people who are trying to bring a change. This social enterprise is committed to use 15% of its profits to support girls education and local tailors. Tesmaraneh have already partnered with a scholarship fund that is going to receive 7.5% of its benefits.
Amy MacLaren – Founder World Teacher Aid
World Teacher Aid is a Canadian charity committed to improving education throughout the developing world with a focus on IDP settlements (Internally Displaced Persons- communities that have been uprooted from their homes) . Their current projects are within Kenya and Ghana.
As a charity they are committed to providing access to education for students within settled IDP Camps.
They accomplish this vision through the renovation and construction of schools.
Before they begin working with a community, they ensure that they are on board with the goal. A community must be settled and show leadership before we commit to a project. We also look for commitment from the Government, ensuring that if World Teacher Aid step in and build the school, that they will help support the ongoing expenses, such as teachers salaries, and more.
To date, World Teacher Aid has constructed five complete schools (40 classrooms) providing daily education for over 3000 students.
On her first trip to South Africa Amy and her husband, Stu met a young boy called King William. He was selling bracelets by the road, urging them to buy bracelets. He was supporting his family by making bracelets. He wasn’t in school that semester because it was the turn for one of his brothers to go. The McLarens ended up giving King William $40.00 the cost of one semester of school. If he got over 80% the McLarens promised to fund the next semester for King William. This is how the young boy finished his education and later went on to business school. He now has a thriving business and has made over 10,000 bracelets and employs his brother.
When Amy told her story at the Company of Women Journey2Success conference this May, she was able to raise over $5000.00 by selling the Be Brave Be Bold bracelets to help her World Teacher Aid projects.
Amy also introduced the “The Write to Give Program” which is dedicated to empowering young children in their reading and writing skills and at the same time giving back to students and teachers in Developing Nations.
When participating in the program, students get a chance to contribute to a fiction or non fiction text. Together, with their teacher, they also get a chance to learn about African Culture, become published authors, receive a certificate and attend the annual Write to Give Day.
The program began in November 2008. The first published book was titled Sir Blur and the Giant Dragon. A total of 80 students took part in collaborating their ideas with the guidance of their teachers to create the first ever “Write to Give” Story. Each class got a chance to write the beginning or middle or the ending of the story.
The concept of Write to Give quickly became popular among other teachers in the Grand Erie Board, and over 650 students participated in the program.
We all want to make a difference but these 3 women entrepreneurs are are making a world of difference by their commitment to social entrepreneurism, making this world a better place.
Elaine Slatter is founder of XL Consulting Group, a small business consultancy helping small businesses with business & marketing planning and websites. She is author of “Fabulous Fempreneurship“, a complete business startup guide for women entrepreneurs.