funding gap emerging markets

Soko is a certified B-Corp, a vertically integrated manufacturing platform and ethical lifestyle brand. Soko was founded by Gwendolyn Floyd, Ella Peinovich and Catherine Mahugu in 2011 when they met in Nairobi, Kenya. Initially aiming to sell traditional African jewellery through large US department stores, the Company changed its business model end 2014. As demand for products from traditional African design appeared too low, the Company commenced designing its own range of products and producing them in Africa through its network of African artisans. At the same time, technological developments enabled the Company to directly target end-customers on the global market (via e-commerce). Soko subsequently works with more than 2,300 independent artisans in Kenya who produce the jewellery. The Group (including the US based parent company) employs ~ 65 full time employees.

Joanne Calabrese is a visionary leader with the proven ability to grow and transform brands.
She has nearly 30 years of retail experience, serving across a variety of business
management, wholesale, marketing, and creative development roles.

General information

BorrowerSOKO INC
Head officeSan Francisco
Founded15 May 2012
Active on Lendahand since19 September 2019

Financial information per 2020-12-31

Total assets€7,289,938
Leverage ratio-34.00%

About Kenya

Kenya has the highest income per capita and the largest economy of East Africa, making the country the financial center of the region. This is partly due to its convenient location at the coast, allowing the country to be the regional trade center. Kenyans are typically higher educated compared to people in neighboring countries. There is a free market and low import and export restrictions. All of these factors lead to Kenya being the main location for foreign companies to settle in after South Africa. Important sectors are agriculture, industry and services, including the financial sector. The increase in export of tea and flowers also contributes to an influx of foreign currency.

Last funded project