Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Giveaway - Indego Africa!

I am really excited to announce that I am doing my very first giveaway -- and it is really awesome. 

I want to tell you about an amazing non-profit organization called Indego Africa.

Indego Africa ("Indego") is an innovative 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise – and subject of a Harvard Business School case study (Nov. 2010) – driving forward a uniquely market-based approach to women's empowerment in Africa.

Indego employs a simple yet powerful business model: (a) partner with cooperatives (“co-ops”) of more than 250 women artisans in Rwanda on a fair trade basis; (b) sell its partners hand-made accessories and home décor products on its online store and at more than 70 U.S. retailers, including Anthropologie and Nicole Miller; and (c) invest 100% of profits from sales, and all donations, into its training programs for the co-ops in business management, entrepreneurship, literacy, and technology – all taught by Rwanda’s top university students on scholarship through its partner NGO, Generation Rwanda.

Indego Africa provides opportunities for women in difficult circumstances to first meet their families’ basic needs, and then acquire skills that enhance long-term earning potential. Within five years of partnering with Indego Africa, each artisan cooperative should include the following:

                WOMEN GENERATING SUSTAINABLE INCOME. Women consistently earn more than $2 per day through their own initiative and oversee households that are entirely free of hunger, inadequate housing, and school absenteeism.
               WOMEN LEVERAGING VALUABLE LONG-TERM SKILLS. Women deploy new high-value skills to earn supplemental income in their own community – whether at a cooperative, another employer, or their own business.
                WOMEN RUNNING PROFITABLE EXPORT BUSINESSES. Women manage cooperatives that are fiscally responsible, effective in product design and delivery, and dynamic contributors to the community – all while engaging the global export market on their own terms.
                 WOMEN FEELING HOPEFUL AND CONFIDENT. Women translate their experiences of financial success and increased productivity into a lasting sense of self-worth and pride, knowing that anything can be accomplished by working together with others and relying on their own strength.

By forging a strategy that validates and scales its mission, Indego Africa re-defines an outdated handicraft model of economic development and maps out a replicable blueprint for unleashing the power of women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Check out this video message from Emelienne Nyiramana, one of Indego Africa's partner artisans who recently graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative Entrepreneurship Program in Rwanda.  Before partnering with Indego Africa in 2007, Emelienne and her colleagues made less than 25 cents a day carrying water.  They now run a profitable, transparent, high-profile business partnering with major retail outlets, including the iconic fashion designer Nicole Miller.

The women of Rwanda have so many incredible products available through Indego Africa and I encourage you to visit their website and take a look!

I'm giving away this GORGEOUS cosmetics case that was designed and produced by the women of Cocoki:

The cosmetics case will come with a tag signed personally by the artisan who created it!  I know this product is incredible because I own one and use it to carry around my favorite make-up.  Isn't it pretty?
To Enter:   

Please leave a separate comment for EACH entry (i.e. 1 comment for following, 1 comment for looking at the website, 4 separate comments for blogging about it).
  • Publicly follow this blog and leave a comment to let me know (this is different than subscribing - see sidebar at right to follow):  1 entry
  • Visit, look through the online shop and comment to tell me which product you think is the absolute coolest: 1 entry
  • "Like" Indego Africa on Facebook (comment to let me know):  1 entry
  • Follow Indego Africa on Twitter (comment to let me know): 1 entry
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please include @Indego_Africa and comment to let me know): 1 entry
  • Facebook about this giveaway (comment to let me know): 1 entry
  • Blog about this giveaway (please leave me a link to your blog): 4 entries

This giveaway will stay open until Sunday June 19th at midnight EST and the winner will be chosen with


  1. I've been following your blog from the beginning! But now I'm following it publicly! Here is to entry #1 :)

  2. Oh! And it is a please to "like" Indego Africa on Facebook :)

  3. Loving the Indego Africa fair trade African basket collection

  4. Love the Indego plateau baskets and the market bags!

  5. Indego Africa Plateau Baskets are beautiful, with all the wonderful patterns, it is hard to choose a favorite.

  6. My favorite things on their site are the cosmetic bags and the new tote bags. I love bags :) haha

  7. I "like" Indego Africa on facebook

  8. I now follow Indego Africa on twitter

  9. I tweeted about the giveaway! :D

  10. What a cool company! I checked out their website and love the wine bags and scarves. Have you heard of liveFashionable? They are a similar company, that creates jobs for women in Ethiopia. They have gorgeous, gorgeous scarves.

  11. Oh! I posted about your give away on facebook!

  12. I don't really participate in giveaways and I am pretty sure I am already following you but I just want to say that Indego Africa is a wonderful organization. I have crossed paths with it before and I have always been impressed with the quality of goods and the mission. Thank you for featuring them!

  13. I'm a follower :) New-ish one as well. I'm also doing the graduate school/ dating a soldier thing, thought we could commiserate :) Granted I'm not in med school but also a clinical doctorate program. Feel free to check out my blog at:

  14. I also really love the market totes- super cute for the summer.

  15. Okay, I love the woven baskets, but I also love the wine bags. Because you can never have too many wine bags!

  16. I looked around their shop...the bags there are awesome. I love the prints. I also love the scarves and braided bracelets....ok, ok, it was hard to choose one! ;)

  17. I'm a follower! Love reading your posts!

  18. Checked out their website - what a great organization! Love the Market totes, and ALL the scarves! Great stuff!

  19. Also "liked" them on Facebook!

    Hope you are hanging in there - we are right about the same length into these deployments. Stay strong!

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