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Total loan: $20,000


Flag of Uganda
Kampala, Central Region, Uganda / Arts

Olivia's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped purchase raw materials and train and employ Ugandan artisans to fulfill her largest order ever of handcrafted horn products.

Olivia's story

The demand for artisanal, ethically made goods has skyrocketed over the past five years. Still, craftsmen in the global south have experienced very little shift in their economic status or job quality. While they may hold incredible potential to employ women and alleviate poverty, at this moment small artisan businesses and cooperatives are unable to grow and interact in a sustainable way with the global market. Four years ago, Olivia launched Olivia-Knox to build a sustainable, reliable, and ethical supply chain linking skilled Ugandan artisans who work with traditional Ankole cow horn with medium and large companies around the world. Economic stability and positive sourcing are at the heart of Olivia's operations: the organization is one of the only artisan businesses in the region ensuring multi-year, stable job contracts with local artisans, providing medical care, education subsidies, and paid time off. Olivia's vision is to create stable conditions for an artisanal middle class in Uganda. To date, Olivia has hired 12 full-time Ugandan artisans, all of whom are sending their children to school, have begun long-term, reliable career paths, and have been able to maintain the health of their families and ensure their children are well-educated. Olivia's focus is on growing a company that can keep artisans in work for many years to come. At the end of 2016, Olivia received her first Kiva loan. The loan was used to fulfill an order placed by one of Olivia's biggest clients, allowing Olivia to purchase raw materials and employ and train Ugandan artisans. Being able to buy raw materials up front allowed Olivia to complete the order for artisanal cow horn products in full and on time, helping her prepare for even larger orders in the future. Now, Olivia has received her largest order to-date. A second loan will allow Olivia to work in partnership with her employees to create competitive home goods, jewelry, and eyewear, that will ensure the organization is able to provide further training and skills development to existing artisans to push their careers forward, while also hiring 5 additional artisans within the next year. This will, in turn, provide five more growing families with stable work, health, and education.