The vision of Ugogo was to create a market to consumer e-commerce environment that put the seller at the cornerstone of the work and to cut out the middle man. We look to bring you the very best in African Fashion, curated to represent not only items that are quintessentially African but that are just beautiful objects that could come from anywhere in the world.
Ugogo was founded by Lisa Armstrong, a British Zimbabwean entrepreneur and businesswoman. The company is inspired by Lisa’s grandmother; “Ugogo” means grandmother in both Zulu and Ndebele. Watching how her grandmother created and sold her crafts, Lisa saw an opportunity to widen her grandmother's marketplace by taking it online. This presented two challenges: her grandmother had no bank account and the poor infrastructure in Zimbabwe made the delivery of low-value goods impossible. So, Lisa began the journey to create Ugogo, a place where local artisans can overcome these obstacles and sell their goods online.
There are millions of informal crafts traders like Lisa’s grandmother in Africa. In Kenya alone, there are approximately 2 million women providing for their families and supplementing household incomes through their craft. As mobile penetration continues at an astounding rate, with approximately 1 billion unique subscribers on the continent, this presents an exciting opportunity for micro-businesses to come online and extend their marketplace.