Building a solid brand that fuels a better image for Africa can create an even bigger impact than the direct jobs you are creating with your business.
For instance, with KEZA, we stand to generate 200-500 lucrative careers for African artists and entrepreneurs over the next 2 years. This is powerful and easily quantified. In order for these businesses to thrive, KEZA must sell the goods they create. The proliferation of these products builds the perceived value of the brand and ultimately results in more product sales.
All of this represents a solid social venture and certainly serves Africa well. However, the image it creates may be even more profound. When an investor is being courted to invest in a country like Rwanda, they do their research. They sit down to read the New York Times or Fast Company and look for indicators that would lead them to invest, or run from it.
When an investor sees articles about African fashion showing up on celebrities at red carpet events, or showcased for excellence, it makes an impression. The image makes Africa much more palatable and attractive for investment and visiting.
The proliferation of KEZA products fuels the brand value. That value fuels an image of the beauty and excellence of Africa. That image fuels investment and tourism, contributing significantly to a solid economical foundation for Africa.
KEZA’s focus is just as much on enhancing the image of Africa as it is on directly creating lucrative careers. Why? Because that image creates many more careers than we could ever create from the sale of our fashion goods.
Remember the old Andre Agassi (Canon) campaign, “Image Is Everything”? Like it or not, there’s a lot of truth to that.