December Issue 2014

Page 102

Our unique supply chain couples us so tightly to production and artisans so tightly to the design feedback and development process that we have been able to innovate the field of “fast ethical fashion� for the first time ever. What have been some of the milestones of your career and of Soko? Soko has been developing our technology platform for almost two years. We spent the first year iterating our mobile artisan technology and services in collaboration with artisan constituents in and around the Nairobi area. We launched the first public iteration of the e-commerce site mid last year. Our learning from that launch informed a competitive consumer facing redesign that was launched in October in tandem with a coordinated marketing campaign targeting lead consumers via social media, press, partner organizations, and sales channels. Since October, Soko has connected thousands of consumers to hundreds of artisans. Our site can receive tens of thousands of hits per month and has empowered artisans to sell thousands of products to consumers from the US, CA, EU, and Australia. Through Soko, I have achieved my personal milestones which include recognition of one of the top women in ICT, acknowledgement globally as one of the young innovators changing the world through their business which has led to numerous invitations as a guest speaker around the world. Furthermore bodies like the World Bank, UN and mainstream media like CNN validating my efforts as a young entrepreneur woman in ICT. This acts a stamp of proof that my efforts are not in vain. Is the field of ICT in Africa growing at a healthy rate as compared to the rest of the world? The ICT growth in Africa has had an exponential growth over the past few years due to favourable factors such as government policies that encourage the use and penetration of internet usage, improved infrastructure