We have seen a variety of social businesses spring up in developing nations that hire locals to create products in order to provide ethical income opportunities. Sseko Designs, based in Kampala, Uganda, works on a similar model. Instead of providing long-term earning opportunities, however, they employ women for the nine months between high school and university. This period is designed so young adults have an opportunity to earn enough money for their university tuition.
"However, in an impoverished and male dominated society, many of these young women struggle to find fair work during this time," Sseko Designs explains.
Sseko (pronounced say-ko) is offering a solution by bringing these young women to live and work together. To earn income, they create Sseko sandals, which are handmade summer shoes that include a bridal line with custom silk straps. In addition to the sandals, they sell accessories like handmade clutches.
"These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war."
Key to the success of this social enterprise is that each sandal has a story, but it also has style. The sandals are made from leather and come with a pair of straps that can be worn in a variety of different ways. Replacement straps are available too, so you can easily mix up your style.
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By: Bianca Bartz - Published: Jan 18, 2012 • References: ssekodesigns