GreEntrepreneurship - NEWSLETTER 2 - Jun2016 - Page 11

HOW THE ORGANIZATION STARTED BUSINESS In 2007 Saskia Rechsteiner made a handful of fabric necklaces for a Christmas Fair in Arusha, Tanzania. Combining local fabric with some beads and her sons’ marbles, she created a unique necklace and sold out within hours. Needing a name for the necklaces, she asked what the Swahili word for a bead was and was told it was a “shanga”. The days after the fair were busy - orders for the necklaces came in from safari companies, gift shops and even people who wanted to export them to Japan and Australia. Saskia saw an opportunity to generate extra income for a deaf lady who worked on the coffee estate where she lived and together they started producing the necklaces to sell. Saskia quickly fell in love with the idea of helping more people from the deaf community and within weeks she had employed another 6 deaf ladies - all making the Shanga necklace in her back yard. MAIN CUSTOMERS These products are sold in Tanzania and all over the World, with the profits bring reinvested back into development of new products and further employment of disabled people. The immediate customers are Tourists, Local individuals, Local vendors who sell them in trendy boutiques in Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam. THE PRODUCTION Use of various creative techniques from glassblowing recycled bottles, paper making, maasai beading, recycling old pots and pans into decorations, glass bead making, traditional weaving, metal work and much more. PLANS FOR THE FUTURE Expanding the business and reach more disabled and abled people to create self-employment. For more information, please visit: http://www.shanga.org