“What kind of business leaders will ABI raise?” – From Rags to Beads | African Style Arts, “What kind of business leaders will ABI raise?”
From Rags to Beads
A Ugandan Entrepreneurial Success Story
Find out more about ABI on http://africanbusiness.institute
In 2005, Daniel and Jalia Matovu were living off a day. Today, their company, African Style Arts, trains and employs 300 locals, earning revenues of 0,000 to over 0,000 per year. They also offer interest-free loans to those in need.
Daniel and Jalia met as students of African Bible College Uganda in 2005. Having both converted to Christianity against the wishes of their families, they were destitute, with no family support. Daniel was taking sponsored courses while the couple received help, food, and clothing from missionaries in the college. But they still struggled to survive. Through various odd jobs, they scraped together a month–attempting to live off a day.
In 2011, a missionary from the United States brought some of Daniel’s handmade paper-bead, necklaces and bracelets back with her to the United States.
Then, an incredible thing happened. People in the States began to ask for more. The demand for Daniel’s beautiful, African-style crafts grew from twenty pieces a month to hundreds, and now … thousands. Within years, a business was born.
Daniel and Jalia’s lives were changed forever. But it wasn’t just their own lives that began to change. The couple have been able to use their company – African Style Arts – to drastically change the lives of hundreds in and around their community.
Today, African Style Arts provides jobs for 300 workers … 100 in house, and 200 in the neighboring communities. The company designs, creates, and wholesales hand-designed, handmade necklaces, bracelets, and other colourful ornaments to the States for revenues of between 0,000 to over 0,000 per year.
But that is not the end of it. The truly incredible story of African Style Arts is how they are transforming the lives of their workers and neighbors, providing patient training and mentoring, focusing on vulnerable women and children in poorer areas. African Style Arts gives out interest-free loans to its workers and helps finance a free day care center for mothers who want to work but cannot afford to do so because of their children. The company has even teamed up with their US client to sponsor 32 children’s education.
Despite their incredible success, Daniel and Jalia continue to learn and plan ahead. In the near future, they hope to expand their product line-up and establish three similar operations in struggling areas of Africa.,