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Name: Maria-Lola Edun

Business: La Signorina Chocolates, a company of fair-trade and hand-made chocolate

Industry: Food & Beverage

Location: London, United Kingdom

Reason for starting: I love chocolates, fashion and creativity. I also like to give back to communities by helping less privileged people, especially in third world countries. I grew up in West Africa and experienced on a daily basis the struggles people face that we take for granted in developed countries. This is why I started La Signorina Chocolates, a handmade and fairtrade chocolate company that combines my love of fashion and creativity.

Related: Read about another foodie entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? Success is being able to make a positive contribution to someone else’s life, even if it’s just for a moment. Success is having access to the luxuries of the planet.

Biggest Success: Starting my company, learning about how to build the company and then winning a business award. I have big plans to grow my brand and make significant contributions to society. I know it will start with one baby step at a time but I am positive that I can get there. I also have big dreams to open a boutique chocolate factory in a third world country, which would provide jobs for the local people and greatly enrich their lives.

Related: Read about another Chocolate Social Enterprise entrepreneur here.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Educating people on the importance of buying fairtrade chocolates. I believe Fair Trade products can be a luxury item just like any other luxury brand. We just don’t believe in mistreating people in the process of manufacturing.

Who is your most important role model? Oprah Winfery and Richard Branson

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Edited by The Story Exchange