Today I want to share with you a letter of Elizabeth Gomez, the co-founder of the underwear startup Facil Clothing Limited in Gambia , which is a great example of major employer for women and youths, so if want to know more about the company find below who they are and what they do.
"Facil Clothing was started in February 2017 by me and my partner Henrik. We both live in Sweden, but I'm originally from Gambia, and this is my way of doing something good for my home country. Especially now after the 22 year dictatorship has ended".
"The first four months was spent on training local youths by bringing in European experts. Now we're producing high quality men's and women's underwear, tank tops/vests and t-shirts and have just started selling to the Gambian people".
"The reason for why we chose underwear is that we identified a big need for quality underwear in Gambia and soon realised that most African countries have the same need".
"Typically underwear in African countries are very low quality imports from Asia, second hand garments bought on local open markets and sporadic imports from Europe/US".
"There are usually no stable supplier of underwear, making it very hard for people to find something they feel comfortable wearing".
"We currently employ 12 people. 11 of them are women and 10 of them have never had a job before".
"Our current challenges are the following:
· Sourcing fabric. We currently buy from Portugal, but that's a bit too expensive for the Gambian market. We're looking into sourcing from China, but would love to be able to buy African made fabrics.
· Financing. We currently finance our operations from Sweden - the home country of both of Facil's co-founders - but we would prefer to find a simpler solution.
· Skills. We work with European experts, but it's very costly to fly down people from Europe each time we need to develop the skills of our team, teaching them how to use new machines, etc. We also design and create our patterns in Europe, which also is costly.
· Sales and intra-African trade. We believe our biggest market is Africa, since the market for undergarments is untapped, but we don't have the connections required to export to other countries.
· Increasing productivity. We already use industrial sewing machines, but we had to buy most of them second hand so there are much more efficient machines available which we currently can't afford".
"We are convinced that Facil Clothing rather quickly can grow into a quite large company employing hundreds of people if we get the right financing and help in establishing their brand in other countries".
Please, have a look at their website: https://facilclothing.com/ and at their current production facility