I was intrigued when I heard about Soko cos its a little different from what I expected. Soko is actually the e-commerce platform and not a specific design line. This platform, the first of its kind (i’m told) enables artisans in Africa to create and manage online storefronts, sell to global shoppers, and get paid directly, all using a simple mobile phone even if they do not have access to a computer or a bank account. If there’s anything we know Africa has a lot of, it’s mobile phones.
The Soko solution transforms the mobile phone into a tool that expands access to economic opportunity for artisans in underserved communities, connecting global artisans directly to international consumers for the first time ever. This new technology revolutionizes international trade, cutting out the middlemen to create economic opportunity, reducing logistical costs and increasing profits for artisans.
“This is the first time these artisans have had access to the international marketplace. It’s also the first time you’ve had direct access to them! The products are a radical departure from the familiar “designed by europeans, produced by Africans” model. These pieces are African design, African crafted…”