Your Name: Margaret Kadi
Business Name: Project Sierra Leone, an ethically made fashion accessories company
Type of Business: Social Enterprise
Business Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Reason for starting
Project Sierra Leone started as a result of the hardship that faces a lot of people in Sierra Leone, especially women. I went to Sierra Leone on holiday in 2010 after being away for 17 years. The first thing that hit me was the fact that the country had a lot of skilled people who dedicated themselves to what they made, but the problem was that there was no real market for their products.
I wear “different hats” in order to get things done so I think the exposure we have received so far has been more than I ever expected. I have been exposed to a completely new industry and it’s allowed me to meet different people that have been a great help along the way. As a result of this exposure I have been approached by other NGO’s and Social enterprises who are interested in partnering with us.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge now is getting our goods out of Sierra Leone to London where we have 2 stockists. Shipping costs from Sierra Leone to anywhere in the world is extortionate so it puts a lot of strain on our finances, especially as I fund everything from my savings! As a result of this I have now joined forces with another NGO who was also encountering the same problems. Because our shipping costs have now been halved that saving can now be ploughed back into the business.
Who is your most important role model?
Definitely my father. He is now retired but he was the Managing Director of one of the biggest banks in Sierra Leone so I always wanted to be like him from a very early age. He brought me up to be a free thinker and to believe that I could do anything I put my heart into. I am definitely a daddy’s girl because his and my husband’s opinions mean everything to me.