Ufahari is a for-profit social enterprise providing artisans (the Jua Kali) with space, tools, and business support to increase their incomes.
The company was founded in early 2023 by team Ufahari (a group of three young and talented entrepreneurs – Collin Okado, John Kariuki, and Samuel Igogo).
The founders were inspired to bring change to the Jua Kali industry after witnessing the debilitating effects of poverty affecting the majority of Jua Kali people.
There are over 700,000 Jua Kali artisans in Nairobi area alone. They make things that Kenyans use on a daily including beds, tables, chairs, sofa sets, cabinets, and so on.
It is estimated that the Jua Kali people contribute over 30% of the Kenyan GDP. Despite their massive contribution to the Kenyan economy, most of them live in abject poverty in the informal settlements across the city.
This is because they earn below the minimum wage. Over 80% of artisans in Nairobi early below $150 a month making it difficult for them to survive and thrive.
The Ufahari Solution
The Ufahari solution provides Jua Kali artisans with space, machinery, and business support to improve their income. The artisans only have to pay a small monthly fee for these benefits. The first two months are free. The solution will begin with a pilot hub in Kariobangi (East of Nairobi) and will later decentralize across Nairobi and the region.
The space ensures the Jua Kali people have a decent location where they can carry out their craft. They no longer need to work directly under the sun or in dingy locations. This puts them in the right state of mind for maximum productivity (and hence income).
The machinery ensures they can do all types of woodwork and metalwork jobs. Previously, artisans had to avoid certain jobs because of lack of machines resulting in low revenues and income. This is no longer the case in our hub thanks to the tools and machinery provided.
The business support comes in terms of marketing services, product design, and labor contracts. These business support services enable artisans to boost their incomes and earn more than they could ever dream of.
How you can support the solution
Our solution ensures Kenyan artisans have what they need to pull themselves from the clutches of poverty. You can help us help them in three major ways.
1. You can buy Ufahari products
You can support us by purchasing the furniture products made by artisans on our website. All our products are 100% made in Kenya by Kenyan artisans and the funds go directly to them.
2. You can partner with us
You can help us to expand our solution and its impact by partnering with us. We are actively looking for financial partners, machine partners, and so on. Visit this page for more information.
3. You can spread the word
You can assist us to enhance our solution by spreading the word about it, its goals, and impact to your friends, partners, and family. Ask them to buy from us and partner with us.