RISE Fellowship Update: Susan Favour Odongo
Last year, we introduced you to our new cohort of RISE Fellows. We are excited to update you on Susan Favour Odongo’s progress who has employed women to make and sell soap in Kisumu County, Kenya. Susan’s initiative, Motisha A Dada, has provided dignified employment for 20 women whilst improving the health and safety of her community. Continue reading below to learn more about Susan’s accomplishments.
"How has the RISE Fellowship affected your business?"
Becoming a RISE Fellow has majorly supported my social enterprise. At the beginning of my fellowship, my business was newly established, yet RISE has helped me to transform it into a productive and life-changing company. Not only has my life changed, but it has also drastically impacted the women who are employed by it. So far, the fellowship has enabled me to provide employment opportunities, scale up my business and improve the overall health of communities in Kisumu County, Kenya.
"What mentorship have you received and how has this supported your social enterprise?"
I met Erin Doppelt, a board member of RISE by Sundara who supported my social media strategy. After our session, I looked at my initiative from a completely different perspective which has shaped the way that I use social media to market my products. I am also enrolled on a Sales Mastery Course by Sophia Sunwoo. Each week I am sent a new module which I complete with the Motisha A Dada team so that we can work collectively on scaling our enterprise.
"Since the beginning of your fellowship, what are you most proud of?"
“I feel so proud that I have been able to add new women into our payroll. When I first began my initiative, I purely saw the business as a means to improve the hygiene in my community. When I became a RISE Fellow, I realized how powerful it is to provide women with employment opportunities. Through paying our staff, they have been able to support their families as they are now able to purchase food and medicine for their children. My fellowship has improved my life, the women who are employed by Motisha A Dada, their families and our broader community.”
"What difference has Motisha A Dada made to the community?"
First and foremost, Motisha A Dada has improved the cleanliness of the communities we are working with. By providing increased access to affordable soap, we support low-income households to practise good hygiene without financially burdening them. Motisha A Dada has also brought women together, which has significant benefits as it creates a safe space and a sense of community.
"If you could share one piece of advice with early-stage entrepreneurs, what would it be?"
If I could share one piece of advice, it would be to ‘go for it’. Every goal, dream and idea can only become a reality if you decide to bring it to life. I consider myself a powerhouse, a force to reckoned with and a heart that was built to serve others - I wonder what could be achieved if women across the world believed in themselves and actioned their ideas.
Support Susan to employ more women and improve access to hygiene in more communities by donating here.