Ecoshoes : Young Ghanaian, Mabel Suglo Builds Footwear Company With A Difference

 nm

Ghanaian Mabel Suglo (21) is the young social entrepreneur behind EcoShoes, a company that employs people with disabilities to manufacture eye-catching shoes and accessories from discarded tyres and recycled materials. Her business is based in the city of Kumasi.

She started the company in 2013 when she was just 19, and two years later has been named the 2015 second runner up of the Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for young entrepreneurs. The title came with a US$12,500 injection into her company.

 

The idea behind EcoShoes was inspired by her grandmother, who suffered from severe leprosy, a disease that can result in skin lesions and damage to the nerves, limbs and eyes. With deformities around the hands and feet, her grandmother had only one thumb.

But like many who suffer from leprosy, the real struggle came from the social stigma attached to the disease. Her grandmother was marginalised – a pariah that society feared due to a lack of understanding. She lived alone, and as a child Suglo saw how others refused to interact with her.

“I never really understood it when I was growing up, but with time started to realise what life must have been like for her,” she says, adding that her grandmother died when she was 12 but has remained strongly in her thoughts since.

“Then one day I went to town, and I saw a disabled man begging for money. One person didn’t give him money, but started telling him that he is good for nothing, useless, and that kind of thing. I just watched and had this mental picture of my grandmother. I really saw how we isolate these people. I thought it high time we make them feel welcome in the community.

“So I just walked up to him and I asked him if he could get a job that would pay better than begging, would he be ready to work? And he said yes.”

She did the same with a couple of other disabled, unemployed people, and very soon had made a list. She was determined to provide them with work, but was not yet sure how.

“The idea of using car tyres to make shoes came to mind… My grandmother actually used to wear bits of old car tyres for shoes because she had no toes and no shoes could fit her feet… So she just took a car tyre, cut it into short pieces and tied it with a rope and it worked well. Other farmers did the same too,” she recalls.

Suglo found two business partners who helped get her idea off the ground, and partnered with a local school for the disabled who trained those with disabilities how to make shoes from old tyres and local fabrics. Each pair is unique and sold through a small distribution network to various retailers across four regions in Ghana. Suglo is also developing the company’s e-commerce site to target a wider market.

 

Eco-shoes-600x348

Today the company employs five disabled people, and has the capacity to produce 200 pairs of shoes a month. Her team also manufacturers belts, slippers, bags and jewellery.

Developing managerial skills

Suglo says she has faced a number of struggles as a young social entrepreneur. With no experience running a company, she admits she found the administration side difficult. And with also trying to juggle her studies in health science education, she has learnt valuable lessons about the importance of effective time management and delegating work to team members.

Her advice to other young entrepreneurs is to start saving as soon as possible, be patient and stay focused on their goal – especially during the tough times.

“Be determined because the road to success is not smooth, it is very rough… And don’t be just a big-talker. I think one problem many of us young Africans have is we talk too much – and we don’t have a lot of doers. Give it a proper try… and if you fail, just pick yourself up, shake the dust off and continue to try again,” she says.

“One thing I know about most successful people is they never really got it right at the first go. They had to try over and over and over again.”

duchess2019

Read Previous

Meet Grace Bol, South Sudanese Supermodel Based In US

Read Next

Clarisse Iribagiza, A Rwandan Making Big Marks With ICT

45 Comments

  • Hello, I check your blog on a regular basis. Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • I take pleasure in, cause I discovered just what I was having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  • This information is priceless. When can I find out more?

  • Thank you for every one of your effort on this blog. My mum enjoys participating in investigation and it’s easy to see why. A number of us notice all about the powerful ways you present both interesting and useful guidance via your website and encourage participation from other people about this area of interest plus our princess is without a doubt becoming educated a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a first class job.

  • Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  • Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  • Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  • Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you make blogging look easy. The full look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  • Hey, thanks for the article.Really thank you! Cool.

  • Hi my family member! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to peer more posts like this .

  • Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

  • Well I really liked studying it. This information provided by you is very practical for correct planning.

  • What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this blog; this weblog consists of remarkable and genuinely excellent data for readers.

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  • I think other site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • I really appreciate this post. Iˇve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  • Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This webpage presents helpful facts to us, keep it up.

  • Hi there to all, it’s actually a fastidious for me to pay a quick visit this site, it consists of valuable Information.

  • Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!

  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  • You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something which I feel I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me. I’m looking forward to your subsequent post, Iˇll attempt to get the grasp of it!

  • Hey, thanks for the article post. Really Cool.

  • Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.

  • Hi, just wanted to tell you, I loved this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  • Great remarkable issues here. Iˇm very satisfied to look your article. Thank you so much and i’m having a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • Whats Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & assist different users like its helped me. Good job.

  • You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I believe I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely wide for me. I am looking ahead on your subsequent post, Iˇll try to get the grasp of it!

  • I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  • Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really irritating. A good site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  • Wow, wonderful blog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The whole glance of your web site is great, as well as the content!

  • A round of applause for your article. Will read on…

  • Outstanding story there. What happened after? Take care!

  • I’m still learning from you, while I’m improving myself. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your website.Keep the tips coming. I enjoyed it!

  • I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  • Hello, I check your blog daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!

  • Hey, thanks for the article post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  • I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  • I keep listening to the news update talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *