Fashionomics Africa initiative recently held a workshop at Baraza Media Lab in Nairobi, 100 entrepreneurs were trained on how to establish a successful fashion brand. The masterclass was presented by the African Development Bank, through the Fashionomics Africa initiative which aims to attract foreign direct investment into the African textile, apparel and accessories industry, and support the growth of micro, small and medium businesses.
Since 2017, the initiative has empowered more than 800 participants in Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Johannesburg, Kigali and Lagos. Fashionista, public and private sector leaders shared experiences and expertise on business and financial acumen, access to finance and provided a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities African fashion entrepreneurs encounter in the highly competitive industry.
“This masterclass is long overdue. It is important to have a great platform to create a market presence. Creating such a platform for the fashion entrepreneurs to share knowledge has a great impact and we are excited to see that the weakest segments of this industry are addressed today. Kenyans should be proud to put on Kenyan clothes,” said Hezekiah Bunde, Director at Kenya’s State Department for Industrialization at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.
“Thank you so much for creating one of the best workshops/masterclasses that I ever attended! The masterclass has empowered fashion creators in Kenya to understand the effort behind a fashion brand” said Janerose Gatobu, Founder of Jagari Limited.
The Kenyan masterclass also promoted Fashionomics Africa’s partnership with DHL through the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and Mobile App, that will facilitate access to international and regional markets for African fashion entrepreneurs.“DHL Express is delighted to partner with Fashionomics Africa, as there is great synergy in our passion for driving development of SMEs in these sectors” said Venessa Dewing, Head of E-commerce at DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa.
The two-day session included representatives from Parsons School of Design, Mettā Nairobi, Google Africa, the Trade and Development Bank, DHL Express, the United Nations Environment Programme, African Import-Export Bank, the Kenya Revenue Authority, the HEVA Fund, Facebook, the Kenya Fashion Council, the State Bank of Mauritius, the British Council, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Viktoria Ventures.
According to Eva Joy Ruganzu, Regional manager of the Portfolio and Implementation Support Division of the East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of the African Development Bank: “Thanks to a strong apparel tradition, a large and entrepreneurial workforce, and an attractive business environment, Kenya is a compelling new sourcing destination for global brands”.