When I first set out on the adventure of finding products to sell on Swoon For it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I wanted to be able to offer my customers the ability to make a difference when it came to their shopping experience. Not only did I want to offer a charitable component, I wanted to present goods to my customers that were truly special and authentic. I had traveled to Africa previously, but a trip last August made me fall completely head over heels with the continent and all of the wonder that it offers. Finding beautiful African crafts to sell in the store was one of my first goals. The wonderful team at All Across Africa (AAA) has been incremental in achieving that goal and I am thrilled to be working with such an incredible organization.
All Across Africa's main goal is to create viable business and income opportunities for poor and rural people across the continent. Beyond simply solving the issue of the lack of income, they aim to create jobs that make people proud, jobs that help restore dignity. The company is committed to seeing each person they reach succeed in all areas of life: job opportunities, money management, proper nutrition, education, reconciliation and access to health care. In addition to their focus on creating jobs, AAA partners with Opportunities Across Africa and Rwanda Partners. Both are nonprofit organizations that provides holistic training and development, education, reconciliation and skill training to rural and marginalized communities.
All Across Africa is a Benefit Corporation, something not many consumers are familiar with. Benefit Corporations are a new, and considered by some revolutionary, class of corporation which work to create a positive impact on society and the environment without losing sight of their bottom line. Non-financial and financial interests are weighed equally in a Benefit Corporation - setting it apart from traditional corporations.
The model is sustainable and scalable without having to rely solely on fundraising and donations, all the while maintaining focus on the goal. All Across Africa reaches deep into rural villages in the developing world and provides jobs that restore dignity and promote self sufficiency. They see this as the way forward for sustainable development in Africa. They consider this the best of business and the best of the non-profit world; its social business.
Continually developing new designs and embracing new artisans and techniques, their offerings are ever increasing and I so look forward to bringing more of their stunning work to the store. All Across Africa knows that they might not have all of the solutions, but they are working to make a difference in the lives of the people that they employ and partner with. Their efforts have impacted approximately 18,200 individuals and that is surely a step, if not a leap, in the right direction.