The Founder's Feature; Caroline Kuria.
One of the most inspiring things is women openly supporting and lifting each other up. We want to share stories that cut across all ages and experiences, stories of founders who have inspired us and who we think will inspire you too. We look forward to inspiring YOU
On this month's issue of founder's feature, we start off with our very own Caroline Kuria, the founder and CEO of Sarai Afrique Fashion House. Located in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya, Sarai Afrique Fashion House is an online shop which offers an assortment of the latest and best in women’s apparel from brands across the World. Designs that fit the sophisticated woman as well as clothing that bests suit the trends of today.
When did you start Sarai?
"I started my business 5 years ago, my husband had been sent away on a foreign mission and I was at home taking care of my children. I had a bit of extra time on my hands and wanted to do something to help my family as well as help my community."
Why an online store?
"I remember when I was employed; it was really difficult to get good clothes at an affordable price. That was a gap that I wanted to fulfill. I wanted to do things differently, so I embraced the digital space."
Why should I shop at Sarai?
Sarai has and always will, aim to empower women reach new heights one look at a time. With our products we cater for
• the up and rising career woman in the work place,
• the stay at home mum who dares to look good as she cares for her family,
• the quality conscious woman.
We at Sarai don’t believe in selling clothes, we believe in giving our clients a memorable experience. Our number one mission is to provide our customers with the highest standards of service.
Tell us more about Sarai, Alibaba and Jack Ma
Well, I was selected as one of Twenty-nine (29) African entrepreneurs to participate in the eFounders Fellowship programme in China, an initiative run by Alibaba and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to support African entrepreneurs succeed in the digital economy.
This initiative is based on Jack Ma’s own experiences launching Alibaba back in 1999, with the company facing many of the same barriers and lack of infrastructure that entrepreneurs in Africa face today. This, he feels, makes Alibaba uniquely suited to share its experience and lessons learned with entrepreneurs looking to build technology companies in Africa.
The fellowship consists of sharing first hand experiences about the transformative impact of e-commerce and technology and a follow-up on lessons learned, including a two-week stay at the Alibaba Business School campus with site visits. Participating entrepreneurs commit to share the knowledge gained with their communities and to become champions of the new economy.
Words of wisdom?
It may not always be easy for women in business, there will always be challenges. What makes this journey amazing is that you learn through all these and you become better at your craft and inspire other women. In the words of Elizabeth Blackwell, what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.