Balancing Business With Purpose: Mariama Kabia Helps Girls in Africa
In the prelude to GES, Safecity held a panel discussion on balancing business with a social cause, and spoke to five women entrepreneurs from all over the world. The discussion saw an entrepreneur from Indonesia who makes bags out of cement material, founder of Red Elephant foundation – Kirthi Jayakumar and even Zara Huseynova, founder of WoWoman, from Azerbaijan.
Mariama Kabia runs Memunatu Magazine. Memunatu promotes literacy, leadership, and empowerment for teenage girls (10–17 years old) in Africa.
“We create a unique, community-driven publication in Africa and the diaspora. I grew up seeing the community in West Africa as my own extended community. All our content links to current events – for example, the presidential election where women empowerment was an issue.
She says that she wants to make sure that girls are able to implement what they read into their lives, and as such the content she provides them is activity-based and measurable.
The social impact:
For Mariama’s business social impact is at the core. It was a problem-driven approach to solving problems.
“We saw that additional years of schooling greatly increases lifetime income, but girls drop out a lot. When we produce content, we target those outcomes we want to impose. With each publication we ask questions before and afterwards so to measure how girls have implemented our activities in their daily lives.”
Mariama’s revenue model is through subscription sales, partnerships with organisations, working closely with schools and implementing lessons.
“As an entrepreneur things are always work in progress,” she said.
Why women need more entrepreneurs:
If no women are at the table then who is to say that problems affecting women will be tackled. Every entrepreneur has their own way of tackling problems, and women have a lot of potential. Also, ignoring their voices deprives us of unique opportunities.