We have recently featured the Kenyan based running brand on our site and with the present London2012 Olympics happening it seemed fitting to hear some more about the work of Chris Markl and his brand, Kourage Athletics.
Read on to hear more about the brand and where Chris is taking it forward and the opportunity for you to be part of this fantastic promising business initiative.
I’m Chris Markl the founder of Kourage Athletics.
Kourage Athletics is Kenya’s running brand. Our mission is to leverage the tradition of Kenyan runners to create authentically Kenyan running apparel. In addition Kourage seeks to become the first African brand that is globally recognized.
Before I begin, there are two ways you can help Kourage we are in the middle of a capital raise, (1) if you like what you read and are a sophisticated investor then you can email me at email@example.com (2) we are employing crowd-sourcing method for our Olympic style – I Am Kenya shirt – by purchasing this shirt you are investing in Africa’s future http://www.indiegogo.com/iamkenya.
Business can improve lives in an emerging economy also in two ways. First on the consumer side, by creating goods that improve lives for those who reside in poverty. Think about how increasing access to a solar-powered lamp, medication, a water purifier, or a cell phone – can improve lives.
The second way business can improve lives is through job creation. This is the area that Kourage works in.
Kourage has a social mission to improve lives in Kenya by creating apparel that is authentically Kenyan, selling this apparel globally, and injecting the revenue generated into the Kenyan economy.
Top ethical fashion companies such as Oliberte shoes, Apolis Global, FEED bags, and Louis Vuitton’s EDUN, espouse a similar social model, yet concentrate all operations in Europe or America, except manufacturing. This social business model is sub-optimal as investment in an emerging country is minimal.
In opposition, Kourage is a Kenyan-oriented company. Specifically
- Kourage is reorganizing as a Kenyan corporation, paying Kenyan taxes.
- Kourage headquarters will be in Nairobi, Kenya, where all operations occur but sales.
- Kourage garments are sold globally with 100% of revenue injected back into Kenya.
- Kourage funds will be held in a Kenyan bank. • Kourage’s supply chain is 100% Sub-Saharan African and 100% ethical – from design through distribution.
This business model ensures that the maximum amount of money is injected into and ripples through the Kenyan economy. In addition, Kourage seeks to create a point of pride for Kenyans and break negative stereotypes of Africa by
- reinforcing a positive image – that Kenyans are the best runners in the world.
- Promoting Africa as a business friendly continent. There are few high-end consumer products developed by African companies. Kourage seeks to become an example of Africa’s potential by building a global brand that is profitable and is selling high-end consumer goods throughout the world.
- Highlighting the similarities between African professionals and their European and American counterparts. This is a side of Africa that is not recognized from the outside world. To achieve this, Kourage will show the life of Kourage employees in Nairobi – professionals with iPads, drinking mojitos, listening to Kanye West, and wearing H&M while residing in the vibrant city of Nairobi.
The goal of me sharing this vision of Kourage is to inspire you. To show you that an emerging economy can leverage its brand to create economic development.
Kourage started with an idea and a small group of inspired hardworking entrepreneurs. We aren’t seeking handouts for Africa but instead seek to employ top talent in the continent to develop a global business.
My hope today is that you can see the vision of our company and how one day Nairobi Kenya can be the running apparel capital of the world! We need your help, please support us at http://www.indiegogo.com/iamkenya