DEMO Africa: SASA Builds E-Commerce for the Emerging Billions

Congratulations to SASA Africa, one of five DEMO Lions at DEMO Africa, which wrapped up today in Nairobi.

SASA Africa is a BizSpark company managed by Ella Peinovich.  We asked Ella some questions about what it is like being an entrepreneur in Africa, and we are running her interview this morning to celebrate her victory. Congratulations, Ella, on being a DEMO Lion and a successful BizSpark company. 

Who inspired you the most this week, and why?

The Sasa team is continually inspired by the amazing women artisans in
Africa whom we work with. Not only is the jewelry these women produce
beautiful, they are also incredibly motivated entrepreneurs. From
their talent in design, to ingenious use of recycled resources, to
creative marketing approaches – these women are smart, driven business
owners who want to make an impact on the world. We have been so
inspired by their intelligence and leadership despite their inability
to access global markets. We cannot wait to see the impact they make
now that they can overcome the limitations of the digital divide. Sasa
provides the tools needed to link these small-scale artisans directly
to the online marketplace leveraging the pervasive mobile phone -
providing an opportunity for their leadership, talents and drive to
flourish. We are so inspired by these women to provide the support
they require to ensure no small-scale producer is left out of the
global economy.

Has starting your own company provided any answers about your life?
Have you discovered something about yourself that you didn’t know

Starting Sasa, our own company, has proven how powerful and effective
we can be. Throughout the course of our work, meeting and networking
and building the range of resources we need to develop Sasa, over and
over and over again we have been met with enthusiasm for what we are
creating. We hear enthusiastic comments like “an
e-commerce platform for emerging economies – connecting off the grid
sellers to on-line consumers– why hasn’t someone already done this?”
We have learned over and over again how important it is to trust our
own thinking – as 100% first movers on this technology we trusted our
understanding that women artists in emerging economies, given the
tools, can be powerful actors in the global economy. If we had just
gone along with traditional ideas of the global marketplace, we would
never have launched Sasa. What we are creating through Sasa will
revolutionize the global market place.  As women entrepreneurs in
technology, e-commerce and design – we have been able to make our
dreams a reality, testing out our minds and our ideas fully. We have
discovered that applying our biggest ideas pays off. There is no point
in holding back. Go for it!