Azizi Life is a social enterprise that supports local Rwandan artisans, helping them to set up and run small businesses, connecting their products to global markets, and investing the profits in community development.
The organisation began in 2008 when the Azizi Life team met a number of artisan cooperatives who were from impoverished communities with a means to rise up - their crafts. The problem was this: although the artisans could sell their crafts to their neighbors or through a middleman, the income they earned was insufficient to support their families.
Azizi Life was set up to support the initiatives and work of the artisans and serve as a bridge to customers around the world. The vision was to build a family of businesses which would partner with local efforts for poverty alleviation and community development.
Since its start, a host of new initiatives have been established:
The Rwanda-based businesses, as well as Azizi Life US who sell the artisan goods, all contribute profits back into Azizi Life Impact’s work. For example, 2017 saw the launch of an adult literacy program within artisan communities.