ENTREPRENEURS: Get Inspired By the Story Of One Africa's Leading Fashion E-commerce Brands
Recent Gauteng Business News
Get inspired by the Story of one Africa's Leading Fashion E-commerce Brands
Africa's fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and growing - with African fashion gaining more exposure globally. One of the brands leading the African fashion movement is Kisua.
Kisua is an innovative digital platform that offers exclusive contemporary African fashion online to a global audience. The e-commerce site was launched in 2013 by Ghanaian, Sam Mensah, who is also its CEO.
Today Kisua is one of the continent's leading African inspired fashion brands, showcasing the continent's creative and design talent.
Here are 7 facts you may not have known about the man behind the brand and how the brand is taking over the globe.
"Equip yourself with skills to participate in the economy"
1. Sam Mensah is economist by profession, but he is an entrepreneur by passion. He gave up his corporate job to start the online store, Kisua, even though his parents were not fond of the idea.
The Kisua ecommerce website.
2. As an economist working for an investment fund, Mensah would travel all over Africa visiting clients and business people. As a sign of friendship, he would bring gifts –usually artistic or cultural items. "Whenever I gave my friends things like bags and clothing, other people would see and offer me money.
People starting approaching me with money, asking: 'If you go to Senegal or Nigeria next time, bring me something.' I turned their money down," he says.
But their requests sparked an idea: "I started to think about how I could make this work. How could I make a sustainable business out of this?"
3. Mensah sold everything he had to create the online portal, through which African garments are sold all over the world.
4. The product has been well received, with international celebrities like Beyoncé Knowles and Terry Pheto have been seen wearing the Kisua brand.
5. The company has 10 designers from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo.
6. In the first week of April 2015, Kisua opened a pop-up shop at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, and there are plans to open more pop-up stores in the country.
7. As a leader, he says entrepreneurship has an important role to play in developing the continent. His advice to young people is: "Go to school, learn as much as you can. Equip yourself with skills to participate in the economy. We just do not have enough qualified people [in Africa]. That is one of the problems we have".
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