Ella Peinovich

Ashoka Fellow
Kenya,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Ella Peinovich was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
The technology platform that Ella has created sets a new precedent by extending the boundaries of the global web economy to include mobile technology, hence seamlessly connecting web-based communities of the developed world to mobile-based communities of the developing world. Via their mobile phones, local artisans can now have a visible web presence and do business as global entrepreneurs directly with international consumers.

Ella is leveraging existing resources such as telecommunications infrastructure, distribution networks, and even international trade policies to make her re-imagined supply chain more efficient, secure, timely, and cost effective for both producers and consumers. Free and fair access to markets provides for a more equitable supply chain that commensurately rewards artisans for their creativity, hard work, and entrepreneurship. Through a recruitment, training and business development support program, Ella helps artisans make the shift from informal to formal business operators. She is opening doors for them to new opportunities for growth, including access to bank loans. Although both women and men can access the SOKO platform and support services, she focuses on using the model to empower women, who represent the majority of the artisan community in Kenya and 70 percent of those working with SOKO.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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