KUDZ Footwear

KUDZ Footwear : Raise The Standard

LondonGaborone, Botswana
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

KUDZ shoes have birthed from my childhood in Botswana, validated through online crowd funding. The projects aims to manufacture footwear in Southern Africa to emplower local communities and employ people in these rural areas, who are living through poverty and child labour. 

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the worlds products and clothing needs were mainly manufactured in Africa?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

KUDZ aims to address the lack of employment opportunities for people in rural Africa with the end goal creating a trust that ensures the continent begins to manufacturer product for the world to rival chinese resources. The KUDZ project is addressing poverty manufacturing and employing people in Botswana while addressing the huge porblem of lack resources www.gold.ac.uk/news/homepage-news/shoedesigneraimstotacklepovertyonestepatatime.php

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Instead of pursuing a charitable approach , Kudz is aiming to provide empowerment and employment for people in areas of low income Africa. to reach the end goal of when purchase a Kudz product you are providing stable employment to the indigenous women and men that KUDZ employs with fair trade wages. Production would take place in Zimbabwe and Botswana with intent to employ people in rural and low income areas for production in clothing and footwear. Each product is 100% handmade and accompanied by a product card, providing details about the African craftsman who made it. The founder of KUDZ has spent over 16 years in Botswana and visiting Zimbabwe occasionally, employing parents in there areas will prevent the high cases of child labour.

Awards

Invitation to the UN Headquarters In New York
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

KUDZ has already established relationships with charities in Botswana specifically targeting school children and organizing shoe drives for pupils who walk long distances and are living on the poverty line. Nayang organisation whose aim is to be at the forefront of donating, supporting and educating children to become truly self-sufficient. Through motivational talks decreasing the number of children who live below the poverty line, who are dependent on social assistance for survival. The primary object for KUDZ would be to manufacture products in Botswana and southern africa to uplift these communities and ensure more school children can benefit from shoe drives for school and casual shoes http://www.nayangassociation.org

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Following the success of my crowdfunding campaign I managed to gain press coverage in the following publications listed below Press coverage from Kent Newspaper and Defy New York Magazine. KUDZ aims to push production of product within Southern Africa, increasing the made in Africa movement and being a social enterprise that promotes quality and empowerment within rural areas. The philosophy of the KUDZ project is based on if we want to help third world nations, we should not just dump free goods on them or donation which will then compete with struggling local businesses,but we must help their growing infrastructures and cater to what is already available.Botswana has a large cattle industry with leather materials that are currently not being utilized and its main export being diamonds has seen sales decrease, maunfacturing product there will bring diversified income and stability.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Within the next five years become nationally retailed footwear company providing casual footwear with quality design and an emphasis on comfort. Bringing quality products with features that other footwear brands lack to customers. Current collection has extra heel support and is made from durable material using pure leather grains. Our company’s long term mission/objectives: • To become a leader in the European trainer market. • To have developed the reputation for offering a convenient means of purchasing
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

KUDZ projects plans to remain financially stable through online sales and retail partnerships in the United Kingdom, KUDZ shoes are currently available at Not on The Highstreet and to ensure sustainability the project will partner with established UK retailers such as Selfridges and Office. Sneaker industry generates over a billion in sales every year Kudz aims to gain interest that can lead to covering 0.5% of this market over the next 10 years.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Sawa shoes, Sole rebels and Oliberte are manufacturing shoes in Africa, however none of them are producing in Southern Africa all these brands named are manufacturing in Ethopia. Thus no one is currently addressing the issue of unemployed in rural Botswana and children unable to go to school because of lack of shoes, only charities such as Nayang are doing an annual shoe drive to address the situation. KUDZ will be producing goods in an area which is only known for having High HIV rates and orphans, bringing manufacturing to Botswana will help provide inspiration and monetary future.
Team

Founding Story

Our market has been validated through trade stalls, crowdfunding success https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kudz-footwear and press coverage in publications based in New York, London and Nottingham. Our target audience is comprised of fashion-conscious, teenagers, university students and young adults. They have their own individual style and prefer a simplistic approach in their footwear choices. KUDZ Shoes’ overall marketing strategy is to focus on providing casual footwear with quality design and an emphasis on comfort. Achieving organic growth has been very successful to this date using the resources of previous universities and social groups. Using organic growth and online promotion

Team

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/county-news/taking-his-first-step-to-19089/ I am an ambitious visionary with hopes of putting a comfortable product out directly to the consumer. I have just completed a Master’s degree in Art and Politics at Goldsmith University London and took online classes. In 2014 I completed an entrepreneurship course at school for creative start-ups where I narrowed my various designs into the foundation of what KUDZ is now. Before Goldsmiths I undertook an undergrad degree in International Relations at Nottingham Trent, with hope of working as a Humanitarian Officer for an NGO. I hope to bring this experience to KUDZ Footwear by creating a brand that incorporates philanthropy once profitable. This would increase the personality of the brand incorporating how my search for a job like most graduates led to the formation of a footwear company. Winning the Footwear Friends award will allow the brand KUDZ to develop relationship with established retailers and increase distribution options. I also have one years’ experience working in GEOX shoe store part time as a sales assistant gaining experience and foresight to the potential growth possible for KUDZ which is an experience that allows me to identify what type of footwear provides full support and durability. The experience at GEOX in sales will be pivotal to the success of the KUDZ as I am able to assess how stock and sales are operated in a successful shoe brand.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Brand Representative, Consumer, Designer, Other [please specify].

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Designers, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Conscious Consumerism, Gender Equality, Physical Working Conditions.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Standards, Training, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?

yes

If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

Child labor, Community development, Poverty alleviation.

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Challenging other entrepreneurs to incorporate social issues into their ventures

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

The collaboration with Nayang Association with the right resources available could provide a huge impact

File attachments: