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Indego’s Inspiring Women: Mavis Adongo

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In Rwanda and Ghana, our partners are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, getting creative, and overcoming challenges to start their own businesses. We wanted to hear more from these inspiring women about what entrepreneurship means to them and why they do what they do. In the interview that follows, these trailblazing women share inside stories about their businesses (and the growing pains that come with them)—about achieving work-life balance, navigating stumbling blocks, building future goals, and finding inspiration. They also share empowering advice for other women—any age and anywhere—who are looking to make their dreams happen.

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Mavis Adongo

Founder of a bolga basket weaving cooperative

Kumasi, Ghana

Mother of three

29 years old

"To be a good leader, extreme patience is required."

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Why were you interested in starting a bolga cooperative? What does bolga weaving mean to you? 

Bolga basket weaving is the first trade I studied growing up. I love to make baskets and watch people admire, purchase and use them. It has always been my passion to start up a group focused on making beautiful and colorful bolga baskets for sale.

How does it feel to be a leader of your bolga cooperative? 

What do you think it means to be a good leader? I am extremely happy to be taking the lead in establishing a bolga basket cooperative in Kumasi. I believe a good leader has the interests of his or her co-workers at heart and truly cares about the welfare of all members both personally and professionally. To be a good leader, extreme patience is required. People come from varying backgrounds, thus having patience as a leader can help you deal and work effectively with these people in order to succeed and enable the business thrive.

Do you like partnering with Indego Africa? If so, why? 

Indego Africa has been a godsend to me. They love me and are willing to help me show off my skills. They discovered me, and have showed that they love me. I pray all the time that people buy stuff from Indego Africa so that I can have many orders.

Have you faced any challenges as an entrepreneur and a mother of three? 

Children get sick sometimes and as a working mother when they do get sick it is one of the worst experiences ever. I need to stay at home and care for my children, yet I still need to work and keep my job. 

There are times when I have struggled with caring for my kids. There was a time when my husband lost his job, I had to pay off a bank loan and our rent was due. We really had a hard time. 

Starting a bolga cooperative in Kumasi can help us make some money to support our families. With more hands on deck, we can improve on our designs, reach deadlines and collect large orders.

What are your dreams for your children’s future? 

I want them to have an education. With an education, they can get good jobs and become leaders in society. They will be able to care for me when I am old.

I know that one day I will not be here with them, so I want them to have formal education because I know they can survive in this world if they do. 

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