Who are we?
AnabaGana is a social enterprise based in Accra, Ghana. We are passionately focused on changing the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized smock producers in Northern Ghana, where AnabaGana takes its roots. Our passion is to brand the smock (dansika) as an African royal cloth that can be worn as ceremonial as well as casual dress.
The Smock is the most powerful, most prestigious and the most respected Northern Ghanaian garment that has rich Northern Ghanaian tradition. Whilst the north is the most impoverished part of Ghana, it is endowed with vast talents in arts and crafts including smock weaving, leatherwork, sculpture, pottery, painting among others.
For generations, smock weaving has been a major source of income for rural dwellers in Northern Ghana. The smock for a long time has been seen as a status symbol for Kings and the affluent in Ghanaian society, but hasn’t brought much financial gain to its poor weavers. In the past few decades, the smock has steadily gained patronage outside northern Ghana, mostly due to its promotion by past and present Ghanaian political leaders. However, the rise in patronage has not boosted the income of the poor weavers: lack of innovative designs, non-standard sizes and lack of marketing has strangled its appeal beyond Ghana.
We at AnabaGana believe we can reintroduce the African smock to the world by offering innovative designs for ceremonial as well as casual and business apparel (which is lacking in existing designs). Your funding assistance will allow AnabaGana to deliver customized and innovative designs through training and capacity building to help the smock weavers boost their income. This will be our contribution of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity among the poor in Northern Ghana.
We are different to make a difference!
For the indigenous peoples of Northern Ghana, smocks are not just another piece of cloth, they are also tangible expressions of our culture and royalty. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find master smock weavers in almost every compound. The craft has been passes on from generations , but unfortunately most of these weavers do not have much to show for, in terms of financial gain for their hard work. They face several challenges. They have the skill and the unique product line, but they seriously lack a market for them. This discourages new generation of tribal men and women from learning these crafts from their elders, thus risking the loss of a heritage of an entire generation. They also lack access to credit facilities to expand their business.
We at AnabaGana believe there is great economic potential in these unique, traditional product, if only the locals can find a way to bring it to a bigger market. Our goal is to add a professional touch to the way smocks are designed , weaved , and more importantly marketed to the rest of the world. The next step is to foster sustainability and growth: by scaling-up their businesses, these men/women will increase their profits. We intend to organize training programs on how to standardize their production, and receive small loans to expand,as well as help them reach national and international markets . We intend to help them access steady markets, at home and abroad, where consumers appreciate the value of handmade and traditional arts and crafts. We also intend to market our products on our website (yet to be launched!) as well as list on ebay and amazon in order to reach our international customers.
What we need
Anabagana is a start-up social enterprise and we need YOUR HELP to achieve our dream and support smock weavers in Northern Ghana. The USD 10,000 that we aim to raise would be used to build the backbone of our project and cover the following expenses:
● we intend to allocate a budget of USD 6,000 for the purchase of smocks from weavers in the North of Ghana. We will remunerate smock producers with a fair price that will provide them a good quality of living;
● our market-oriented approach to the smock business requires a lot of marketing! We have estimated marketing expenses for an amount of USD 2,000. This will cover the costs for the logo design, label printing, creation of magazines for our sales agents, website development and advertising on social media;
● starting September 2014, we will organize training for our weavers every quarter. The amount of USD 1,500 will cover the costs of facility rental, training materials, course ware development, etc. We will also train our Sales Agents on personal selling techniques and customer relations;
● office equipment: USD 500. As starters, our office will be a small home office. At least, we will need a printer (we will use our laptops), a telephone and stationery.
In the event that we do not meet the goal of USD 10,000, we will use any amount we have raised to move forward to any level we can reach. We will probably start by purchasing a smaller quantity of smocks and lowering some of the marketing expenses.
If Anabagana exceeds the target of USD 10,000, we will use the additional funds as follows:
1. USD 13,000 – We will purchase two motorbikes for our sales agents so that they can penetrate the market by easily moving around Accra(our main home market);
2. USD 15,000 – We will also rent a space to use as a showroom to exhibit our smocks and give more visibility to the creations of our suppliers;
The social impact of AnabaGana - The social impact of your contribution
AnabaGana believes that branding and promoting smocks for local and foreign markets will allow the industry to flourish. New job opportunities will be created, reducing unemployment especially among the youth. AnabaGana will also remunerate smock suppliers with a fair price that will ensure a significant improvement in the living conditions for them and their families whiles preserving and promoting the collective heritage of a generation.
Most of the smock producers learnt the profession from their family members and improved their skills through constant practice. AnabaGana will also assist its network of smock suppliers with capacity building and training programs to strengthen their abilities and engage them in a long-term business relationship. In this regard, we intend to organize quarterly training modules with our smock suppliers to empower them with new production and marketing expertise. This would also ensure that all AnabaGana-branded smocks satisfy high quality standards and are aligned to our product concept.
Do you want to be part of this endeavor? There are other ways to help us;
We would be extremely grateful if you do decide to pledge financially! Aside, you can help spread our message to your friends, family, co-workers and strangers alike. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. You can also order our branded smocks for yourself, family and friends. We appreciate your support so much.
The AnabaGana Team