Ventures
RoHo
Fellow(s)
Location
Malindi
Kenya
KE
Issue Area(s)

About

RoHo is committed to socially conscious fashion. That means RoHo strives to empower underrepresented populations, specifically in Kenya.

Our RoHo founder came across beautifully beaded leather sandals in the craft markets of Uganda. Searching for the source, she found Lydia, a Kenyan entrepreneur and manufacturer of these striking sandals.

The sandals, with supporting materials, are a simple and effective method to educate about the plight of marginalized groups in Kenya. In collaboration with Lydia, a unique socially-conscious business model was created and RoHo was launched. RoHo stands firm on purchasing products solely from manufacturers that use (or are successfully adopting) fair and sustainable business practices, thus ensuring that artisans are paid fair wages for fair work and guaranteed a safe and healthy manufacturing environment.

The first phase of RoHo is to create new markets in the United States for the existing products created by Lydia’s artisans. Creating a market in the U.S. will ultimately increase the need for additional skilled workers.

The second phase of RoHo is to supply an educated workforce to the RoHo supplier network. A portion of each shoe sale funds the creation and continuation of a vocational school in Kenya.

Recently, RoHo has facilitated several quality control meetings with the artisans, as well as several meetings on how best to give back to the artisans themselves and solve community-wide issues. Together, attendees came to the conclusion that quality education was a key issue in the area, and RoHo is now focusing its giving efforts in that direction. Since then, the venture has begun supporting 8 of the artisans' children and is sending them to quality schools in the area. It has been nominated for several local awards, including Women Economic Ventures' People's Choice Award and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship's Social Business award.