Soko was founded on the belief that innovation can empower women, can connect markets, and can foster opportunities that change lives. The artisan craft industry is the second largest employer in the developing world. It is also one of the most disenfranchised. Soko provides a way for artisans to improve their livelihoods by disrupting the supply chain and connecting artisans from Nairobi, Kenya to market demand around the world. On average, within two months of joining Soko, artisans increase their incomes by a factor of 4x, often the difference between poverty and abundance.
“On average, within two months of joining Soko, artisans increase their incomes by a factor of 4x, often the difference between poverty and abundance.”
Ella Peinovich, Gwendolyn Floyd, and Catherine Mahugu co-founded Soko in 2011 after recognizing a global need, as well as global opportunity, to disrupt the systemic patterns of poverty found across the developing world’s creative economy. Working in bottom of the pyramid communities, they were inspired to develop a solution to the disconnect between the incredible cultural value of the goods artisans make and the disproportionality small amount of money they can earn from these goods. They realized that by leveraging technology and existing infrastructure in an innovative way, they could create a platform to enable any talented artisan to participate in international trade.