Levelling Up Africa’s Artisinal Entrepreneurs
A historic moment is upon us. Our very first blog post and an introduction to the team here at SARAHA.IE.
While we’ve been up a few weeks, in many ways it’s at this point the site goes live given it’s our first opportunity to interact.
So allow me to introduce myself. My name is Barikisu, a girl from Wa, raised in Bolgatanga, Ghana (Bolga for short) but now living and raising a son in Dublin.
My experience in Ireland has been excellent so far; the people are warm and have treated me well. However, what's impressed the most is Ireland's entrepreneurial spirit. Dublin in particular is awash with start ups. A 2019 study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported Ireland ranked fourth across Europe for budding entrepreneurs.
In Ghana, this approach to earning a living is almost customary. In a fundamental way everyone is a hustler in Ghana from small market traders, to tech start ups, to (in our case) vibrant basket weaving and other artisanal communities of the north. Unfortunately, a key issue nascent micro enterprise find challenging is to scale. It’s this knowledge on the ground that gave birth to SAHARA.IE.
Hence, our goal is to support artisans across Africa by providing access to external markets, levelling up their entrepreneurial endeavours by leveraging this site as a platform. In so doing, we aim to provide our customers with handcrafted sustainable products that are truly unique.
Within two years, our moonshot goal is to remit 50% of profits directly to artisans and/or community development projects, thereby representing a new way of doing business. A way of business that fosters entrepreneurship yet places dignity, culture and sustainability at its core.
At launch, our Bolga Basket range is the first to market. The baskets are constructed from Elephant Grass (Pennisetum Purpureum) harvested from local fields and are entirely handmade.
The dried straw is then dipped into boiling water and natural dye giving it vibrant colours. Then our highly skilled weaver selects the appropriate strain of grass for each part of the basket, then weaves from the bottom up.
This skill has been maintained in these communities for generations.
As this platform matures, we plan to introduce new lines from across the continent.
In the meanwhile, join the tribe by following us on Facebook, Instagram and on this blog.
Hopefully, you’ll find a few handcrafted gems along the way
Kisu and the SAHARA.IE team