Podcast: Africa

103: Kazi – All Across Africa – Woven Together

Alicia Wallace is the COO of Kazi, a Mindful Business she founded after years of working in emerging economies and seeing the need for job creation at an everyday living wage. Today, Kazi is the largest artisan employer in Africa with nearly 6,000 artisans who support 24,700 dependents. Nearly all the artists are women. Through the process, the artists become self-sufficient businesspeople, improve their economic situation and gain the dignity and sense of accomplishment that comes with it.

The items they create aren’t pieces you’ll find at just any gift shop or farmers’ market! These intricately handwoven items – including bold wall statements, multi-purpose baskets, lighting and more – are designed with fashion, home and color trends in mind, then made from all natural materials and dyes found in Africa and sold here in the US. What were the challenges in entering markets and countries who are so different than one is used to? Alicia talk about it and other challenges on this episode of Mindful Businesses.

https://kazigoods.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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103: Kazi - All Across Africa - Woven Together
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59: Amazi Foods – Snack on Purpose

Renee Dunn, Founder of Amazi Foods, studied abroad and did her thesis research in Uganda. While living there, she was blown away by their organic tropical fruits, bursting with flavors unlike back at home in the US. But stand after stand, people traded fruits raw or looked for cheap ways of processing or exporting. She had heard stories about cocoa farmers never saw a chocolate bar. Those at the heart of the resources were completely separate from the opportunity and innovation that existed in the global market —resulting in high unemployment and food waste. This sums up a lot about our supply chains as a whole.

Meanwhile, back at home, consumers look for products that serve a higher purpose. She realized there was a huge opportunity missed not only for local industry and job creation but also to satisfy a growing need for US consumers. Amazi Foods source directly from farmers and keep production in-country by partnering with Ugandan businesses. By creating over 150 jobs and paying 2-3x the local wages, paying farmers up to 67% above market price, prioritizing women and smallholder farmers, and committing to contribute over $13 million to the Ugandan economy over the next 4 years, they bring 100% made-in-Uganda products to the US markets. Listen now only on Mindful Businesses podcast.

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59: Amazi Foods - Snack on Purpose
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51: Clean and Proud – Creating Sustainable Fashion from Plastic Waste

Clean & Proud kicks off in 2018, when two environment and ecology enthusiasts George Berthon and Beatrice Engström, living in Malawi sit together to once again talk about the problem of plastic waste littering the streets and the nature of this country they love so much. It was that evening that they decided to act against pollution. With a small amount of cash they had on hand and the help of a partially successful crowdfunding campaign, Beatrice and George set out to create machines to recycle all that plastic polluting Malawi. But they fail to operate these machines to their full potential. It was at this moment that they came across this simple and effective technique on the internet to heat-seal single-use plastic waste (such as packaging and plastic bags) together to create a durable and practical material. Since then, Clean & Proud has strived to create and produce wonderful eco-friendly and ethical products, handmade with always a little African touch to warm the hearts.

Learn more about their passion for bringing environmental change and their love for the East African nation, Malawi.

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51: Clean and Proud - Creating Sustainable Fashion from Plastic Waste
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48: Solar Panda – Transforming Lives with Low-cost Solar Home Systems

We chat with Brett Bergmann, COO of Solar Panda, Transforming Lives with Low-cost Solar Home Systems about the day when he visited a Solar Panda customer who for the first time had electricity in their home. It was one of the most rewarding days for Brett. How can we live lives and have jobs which are impactful? Solar Panda develops innovative solar energy systems to electrify homes and small businesses. Each upgradeable kit comes with lights, mobile charging, a radio, lantern, and torch, with options for premium appliances like a TV.
For more episodes go to our website:https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/podcast-1
To learn more about Solar Panda:
https://solarpanda.com/

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48: Solar Panda - Transforming Lives with Low-cost Solar Home Systems
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34: Reel – Bamboo Toilet Paper That Does Good

We chat with founder Derin Oyekan, a 20 year digital marketing veteran about his journey in creating sustainable toilet paper and a brand which strives to give back by building toilets and empowering women. Learn how Reel does it in a mindful collaborative way.

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34: Reel - Bamboo Toilet Paper That Does Good
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27: Ajiri Tea – Creating a Sustainable Cycle of Employment and Opportunity in Kenya.

What does it take to start a business several thousands of miles away, and that too when you were just 19. Kate Holby co-founded Ajiri tea with her sister Sara Kolby, to create a full cycle of sustainable aid. Because education is a sustainable investment, 100% of the net profits go back to Kenya to pay school fees for orphans. Ajiri Tea Company is now sponsoring 29 orphans in school and is employing four different women’s groups. Learn more about these amazing young ladies.

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27: Ajiri Tea - Creating a Sustainable Cycle of Employment and Opportunity in Kenya.
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26: Beyond Good – Chocolate Made Right.

Beyond Good, a pioneer in heirloom dark chocolate, is the only brand in the U.S. market producing bean-to-bar chocolate at source in Africa. From an organic certified chocolate factory in Madagascar, Beyond Good produces the finest heirloom chocolate, while providing a stable pay price for cocoa farmers. By making finished product in Africa, Beyond Good is redefining high-quality chocolate and sustainability in the chocolate industry.

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26: Beyond Good - Chocolate Made Right.
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14: Global Goods Partners – Gifts That Give Back

Buy handmade, change women’s lives. We chat with Joan Shifrin and Catherine Shimony, extremely dynamic and creative women who run this New York-based non-profit brand Global Goods Partners, like a business and with the overall mission to do good and empower women. Their work, resources, and resolve are focused on bridging gaps, opening doors and providing opportunities for artisan women to join the international marketplace.

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14: Global Goods Partners - Gifts That Give Back
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8: Swahili Coast – Worker-Owned, Worker-Managed, Worker-Financed Fashion

Swahili Coast partners with artisans in East Africa to craft ethically handmade, fair trade, adventure-ready accessories.It connect them to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity, and respect. Swahili Coast strives to support the creation of worker-owned cooperatives and provide continuing support through fair exchange and promotion of workers rights in the East Africa region.

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8: Swahili Coast - Worker-Owned, Worker-Managed, Worker-Financed Fashion
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