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Kimberley Mbayiwa

Overflow Afterdark provides an opportunity for artist entrepreneurs to showcase their skills and products to a diverse community of people, as well as network with other artists, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Each Afterdark event features a performing artist and a vendor. At our September event, Kimberley Mbayiwa, founder of Ricafrica, was our featured vendor.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Kimberley has always had a passion for the African continent. After moving to the United States for college, Kimberley's passion for Africa only increased. She gained a greater appreciation for the contributions and impact the continent had and continues to have on the rest of the world.

Kimberley's believes the opportunity is ripe for continent-based African designers, artists and artisans to participate in socially, culturally and economically enriching exchange with those outside of Africa who seek to celebrate African heritage and innovation. Unfortunately and ironically, many African entrepreneurs face barriers to entry that prevent them from participating in global celebrations of African heritage and innovation. The barriers are many--financial, physical, political, social, and more. Consequently, it is commonplace to find contributions of many African's being exploited, stolen, replicated, and appropriated. The impact of this is deep reaching. Not only are African contributors not getting the recognition they deserve, but the resulting economic loss is detrimental--lives are literally lost because Africans are being excluded from the global economy.

Kimberley founded to address the problem of those barriers. Ricafrica includes a unique online marketplace that makes goods made in Africa accessible to the global marketplace. African businesses showcase and sell their products on Ricafrica so that people around the world can learn more about, celebrate and purchase their designs and innovations. Ricafrica facilitates a global celebration of African heritage and innovation that is authentic, respectful and allows Africans, particularly those who are continent-based, to fully benefit from their contributions to these celebrations. This is an ambitious endeavor cluttered with obstacles. However, being at the intersection of all things African and lovers of all things African makes it clear that is a worthwhile endeavor that many desire and support.

Entrenuity was honored to feature Ricafrica at the September Overflow Afterdark event. Find out more at RICAFRICA.COM.

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