Meet the social enterprise fighting child labour through fashion.

As the countdown to the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum continues, one Ethiopian social enterprise is taking a lead in ending child labour through fashion.

Established in 2009, Yefikir Design is a fashion design house with a much bigger vision than just fashion design. Yefikir Design is founded and managed by the internationally recognised award winning, Ethiopian fashion designer, Fikirte Addis.

Like many other social enterprises, Yefikir Design delivers a positive social change and re-invest profits into furthering their good work.

Yefikir Design not only aims to provide its clients with the latest, modern designs in Ethiopian fashion, but is a humanitarian force using its art to give back to its community.

Heritage and modernity

Yefikir Designs aspires to portray Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage with modern, contemporary clothing on a global scale, while practising corporate social responsibility and affecting positive social change.

In its ten years of existence, the company had stayed true to the visions of its founder Fikirte in balancing commercial interests with positive social change. This commitment to social change, among others, is evidenced by Fikirte’s work with the two hundred weavers in Chencha, a small rural town, and her advocacy work against child labour.

Yefikir Deisgns is one of more than 55,000 social enterprises in Ethiopia and the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum is set to be held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa in October.

Fikirte Addis commented:

Social Enterprise for me is a complete re-definement of the business as usual model. It is a way for us to achieve a whole rounded development both for the company, employees, stakeholders and the community.

Through social enterprise we define success not only through profits but by the positive impacts we achieve with the society and the environment.

It will be a historic occasion as it is the first time the event will be held in a developing market economy. More than 1,200 delegates from around the world are expected to attend in order to learn, share and network with each other.

The above article by Simon Francis first published on gritdaily.com in Oct, 2019.