In 2009, Founder and CEO of successful fashion brand Sseko Designs Liz Bohannon set out on a mission. Armed with a master's degree in journalism, and a curious mind, she traveled to Uganda to better understand the social and economic challenges for women. She discovered that women did not want charity, but a more sustainable solution that would provide them with an education and respectable jobs. As Liz dug deeper into this problem, she found a way to create a business that would provide a marketplace solution.
Ten years later, she is sharing the story of how her company grew from three women making sandals together under a mango tree, into an international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities, and entrepreneurial training to hundreds of women in Uganda and across the globe. By providing employment and educational opportunities, Sseko enables women in East Africa to continue their education and become leaders in their country and our world, as well as providing hundreds of women in the U.S. to build their own Sseko business and make an impact.
Liz's story is filled with lessons for success that are grounded in the principle of having a beginner's mind, which she sums up in her new book, Beginner's Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now. In it she shares uncommon ideas toward success like, Own Your Average, Stop Trying to Find Your Passion, Dream Small, Be Good with Good Enough and 10 other guiding principles that she uses with her own employees and Sseko Fellows to help them build their own successful careers.
Liz continues to channel her own inner beginner as she manages employees across multiple continents, and it is leading with this beginner's mind that has enabled her to be a more courageous, creative and effective leader.
Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoe-maker, Liz shares her passion for social enterprise, conscious consumerism, social justice, creative leadership and gender-equality, all seen through the lens of a beginner's mind, wrapped in a decade's worth of experience.
The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including, Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Inc., Fortune and others. Sseko has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC's Shark Tank and Good Morning America.
Among other notable honors, Liz was recently named a Top Three Transformation Leader by John Maxwell, Forbes listed her as a top 20 public speaker in the U.S. and Bloomberg Businessweek named Sseko as a top social enterprise to watch.
Liz now splits her time between Uganda and Portland, Oregon, where she and her husband Ben run Sseko Designs and raise their two young sons.