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SA re-commerce startup, Faro to combat textile waste in Africa

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South African re-commerce startup, Faro has commenced the process of combating textile waste in Africa by launching operations to make quality fashion accessible in the continent.

With the new platform, the startup which partners with global fashion brands to source high-quality unsold clothing for resale in Africa, said it hoped to check the inflow of problematic textiles by giving customers a sustainable alternative.

Faro co-founder David Torr, who threw light on the new initiative, said the startup was embarking on a rapid store roll-out with the first outlet scheduled to open in Mitchell’s Plain on the South African Cape Flats in October.

“The roll-out could have incredible environmental implications. Our commitment to the circular economy goes beyond waste prevention; we’re dedicated to addressing the existing problem,” said Torr.

“This dedication has given rise to Faro Impact, a textile recycling initiative. For every kilo of high-quality sustainable clothing we sell, Faro Impact will recycle an equivalent kilo of textile waste.”

The CEO said with his team comprising Michelle Sibanda, Amber Penney and William McCarren, Faro had a wealth of experience in building and promoting ventures in Africa.

“We spent three years trying to reduce waste in the second-hand clothing market, but people wouldn’t change their ways. To fix the problem, I knew we had to build a new supply chain,” he said.

“Faro has partnered with the Bestseller group, whose fashion brands include Jack & Jones, LMTD, Only, Vero Moda, Vila and Noisy May, to bring its unsold brand-new stock directly to the South African market, where it will be sold at up to 70 per cent off retail prices,” he added.

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ADB launches mapping project for African women entrepreneurs

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The African Development Bank (ADB) has launched a mapping project targeting 160 women entrepreneurs’ associations in 16 African countries.

The mapping project which is supported by the Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative and Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) will strengthen the associations’ visibility, improve their institutional capacities, and facilitate access to financing, according to ADB’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford.

In a statement issued by the Bank, the initiative is an important step in its commitment to supporting African women entrepreneurs, promoting women’s economic empowerment and boosting inclusive growth in Africa.

Dunford who officially launched the project at a ceremony in Abidjan which was attended by several associations, umbrella organizations and coalitions of women entrepreneurs, alongside about two hundred others who joined virtually, said it was the ADB’s plan to promote collaboration and networking with women entrepreneurs in the continent.

“The African Development Bank’s Action Plan for Engaging with Civil Society 2024-2028 illustrates our commitment to inclusivity, transparency and accountability,” stated Dunford.

Also speaking at the launching, Zeneb Touré, head of the Civil Society and Community Engagement Division at the Bank, said:

“Associations of women entrepreneurs are catalysts for reforms and innovations that support female entrepreneurship and facilitate women’s access to the economic resources they need to realize their full potential.”

Ms. Dagou Yvonne Nivine Gadji, representing the SEPHIS Foundation which facilitates access to Bank funding for women-led SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, emphasized that the associations identified for the mapping project would be “catalysts for reforms, a boost to women’s empowerment and a crucible for building the capacity of several other networks of women entrepreneurs.”

“We are truly concerned about the issue of access to funding. However, it’s very difficult in Africa, because most women don’t have a guarantee for raising the funds they need.

“There are microfinance organizations that support women, but their interest rates are very high. We think that the AFAWA programme, through the Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF), can help us,” she said.

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Bolt Kenya launches new campaign to celebrate its drivers

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Bolt Kenya has announced the launch of a new reward campaign dubbed, “Drive for a Prize”, aimed at celebrating its top-performing drivers in the country.

The campaign is part of an innovative Driver Reward Scheme designed to enhance driver engagement and empower the driver community by recognising and celebrating their outstanding contributions.

Bolt Kenya Country Manager,
Linda Ndungu, who made the announcement, said the reward campaign came following the success of a similar campaign last year, adding that the company is committed to making this year’s event even more memorable by “partnering with esteemed brands such as Oraimo, Total Energies, Naivas Supermarket, and Samsung Kenya to offer great benefits and rewards to the drivers.”

“Oraimo will offer top drivers premium phone accessories; Total Energies will provide fuel vouchers; Samsung will give them access to phones and Naivas will provide shopping vouchers for all the winners of the campaign,” she said.

“We are excited to launch the second edition of the “Drive for a Prize” campaign. Drivers are the heart of our operations, and it’s vital that we recognise and reward their dedication and hard work,” Ndungu said.

”We believe that initiatives like this will motivate our drivers to work harder, thus enhancing the quality of service for riders. This creates a win-win situation for both the drivers and the business as a whole.”

According to Ndungu, the campaign, which kicked off at the end of June, is set to run for eight weeks until the 23rd of August, during which drivers will have the opportunity to earn points based on their performance.

“The top performers will be feted at an award ceremony, where they will receive their well-deserved prizes and recognition,” she added.

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