Kourage Athletics is a US 501(c)3 non-profit that aims to reduce poverty by designing and manufacturing a line of athletic clothing in Kenya.
We’ve seen numerous approaches to economically empowering those in the developing world, whether through microloans, fair-trade policies or low-cost franchise opportunities. Now, similar in many respects to the way Canadian shoe company Oliberté chose to source and set up its manufacturing operations in Africa, Kourage Athletics is a US 501(c)3 non-profit that aims to reduce poverty by designing and manufacturing a line of athletic clothing in Kenya. The brainchild of a Florida-based economist, running enthusiast and social entrepreneur, Kourage creates running apparel that is “designed, manufactured and managed in Kenya by Kenyans,” in the company’s own words. Production takes place in a Kenyan-owned and -operated factory that produces everything from police uniforms to high-end fashion. More than 200 Kenyans now work there in well-paying jobs and under healthy conditions, Kourage says, also giving them new skills and an increased quality of life. The garments produced, meanwhile, are exported and sold in the developed world, allowing Kourage to reinvest revenues back into the Kenyan economy. Six shirt styles are currently available from Kourage; pricing is USD 39 each, with free shipping within both the US and Kenya. Charitable donations are all very well and good as a way to help the impoverished people of this world, but there’s no denying that new economic opportunities can go even further. Social entrepreneurs around the globe: be inspired!