We are in full preparation mode for the 3rd edition of the Symposium on 6-7 October at Alliance Francaise, Nairobi and you are invited! 

Regardless of product category, we are looking forward to hosting a diverse community of artisans and designers from all over the country.

Always looking for innovative ways to enhance your experience, we have cast the net wide in the selection of our speakers. We are super excited to welcome Mark Kwami (Germany) and Eva Sonaike (UK). Also with us this year are corporate guru Patricia Okelo, The Luxury Network CEO Michael Mwai and leadership coach Rosie Lore. We are equally pleased to welcome back marketing expert Larrissa Muthoni, business development consultant Goodie Odhiambo and dynamic duo Amal Mohamed and Maureen Njuguna from HEVA Fund.

More importantly, this program has been created with you in mind, as such allowing us to zero in on topics suggested by you while creating ample opportunity for formal and informal networking.

So bring your ideas, thoughts, challenges and successes. We would love to hear your story!

Find a registration button at the bottom of the page. It will link you to the application form.

See you very soon!


Mark Kwami

Brought up in Ghana, Mark Kwami has a strong insight and commitment to working in Africa. For the last 20 years, he has worked as a consultant for development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean as a designer and business development mentor within the artisan and design sector. Mark currently consults for CBI in the Export Coaching Program with a portfolio of companies across the EA region. He says of the program “the initial focus is to strengthen enterprises in their domestic and regional markets, using these markets to test new product collections and build up production capacities. Only then, do we begin a conversation on export markets.”

Eva Sonaike

Eva Sonaike’s eponymous label, Eva Sonaike, is a London-based interiors and lifestyle brand creating luxurious textiles, home décor and accessories with a distinctive and vibrant West-African aesthetic. The company’s ethos ‘Bringing Colour to Life‘ is reflected in Eva’s signature collections of cushions, bags, stationery, fabrics and furnishings. Her products have been stocked in department stores such as Liberty, Fenwicks of Bond Street and Selfridges in London, Globus in Switzerland and ABC Carpet & Home in New York. Eva graduated with an MA in Fashion from the London College of Fashion, where she specialized in contemporary African fashion and textiles. She was recently featured among 21 other women entrepreneurs redefining African luxury and exciting the world with Afroluxe brands.

Patricia Wa-Tindi Okelo

A serial entrepreneur, Patricia is passionate about empowering individuals to make informed decisions in regard to business, financial freedom and family life. As founder and CEO of Willart Productions, Patricia’s business acumen has catapulted the company to one of the most recognized design brands in Africa. She is founder and chairman of Conferencing in a Box and Hawa Trust Foundation, has served as a board member for Festival of African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) and currently as a member of Kilimani Project Foundation’s board. In 2014, Patricia scooped the Enterprising Women of the Year Award in Miami Florida. She says of her mission, “I desire to see more small businesses flourish through education and empowerment and helping individuals become financially free.”

Larrissa Muthoni

Since 2005, Larrissa has focused her career in media management, developing core skills in brand planning, strategy development, behavior change communications and business plan development. Working across East Africa, her portfolio of blue chip companies include Coca Cola, Kenya Airways-SSA, Jubilee Insurance, Stanbic and  Woolworths. In 2002, she conceptualized Zamoyo, a fashion accessories brand based in Nairobi. It is a company she has grand plans for “I want to take the less trodden path with Zamoyo, achieve success on my terms and inspire others to create their dream companies.” A dedicated scuba diver, Larrissa says that her best place on earth is beneath the ocean surface, discovering the hush magic hidden within.

Rosie Lore

A consummate connector and net-worker, Rosie describes herself as always open to experiences that lend themselves to self-discovery. Her jaw dropping career spans close to three decades, across various sectors and multiple geographies. She initially cut her teeth in academia within medical research in Kenya, obtaining her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of London, UK. She later moved to corporate R&D within the food industry across Africa and North America. More recently, Rosie managed the Acumen East Africa Fellows Program, a flagship leadership development program for social impact entrepreneurs. “This is where I began honing my leadership coaching and facilitation skills” she says of her stint at Acumen. Rosie is currently serving as a transformation facilitator with Stanford Seed, a role that involves supporting SME business leaders scale their businesses. Rosie is a certified life skills coach, passionate about working with individuals and teams leverage their strengths in realizing lasting transformation.


TimeSession title/themeSpeaker
6 October
Welcome + introductions
Global Perspectives: Emerging Practice Along the Artisan and Design Value ChainMark Kwami
10-10.30Interactive session/Q&A
10.30-11.00Coffee break
11.00- 11.30

Business Growth Strategies: What Are Your Options? Patricia Wa-Tindi Okelo
11.30-12.00Standardizing Handmade Products: The Taita Basket Case StudyGoodie Odhiambo
12.00-12.30The HEVA Journey: What Investment Means for Your BusinessMaureen Njuguna and Amal Mohamed
12.30-1.30Interactive session with speakers
You Have Built a Startup, Now Build a LegacyRosie Lore
3-4Practical exercise
4.30Coffee break and depart
7 October
9-9.30Recap of previous day
9.30-10Engaging with the US Market: Support From East Africa Trade and Investment Hub for East African Craft ExportersMargaret Waithaka
10-10.30Interactive session/Q&A
10.30-11Coffee break
11-11.30Kenya as a Potential Market for Premium GoodsMike Mwai
11.30-12Niche vs. Mass Branding: Picking the Right Strategy for Your BrandLarrissa Muthoni
12-12.45Interactive session with speakers
12.45-2Lunch break
Group Challenge
Delegates pick one business challenge and as a group contribute ideas and resources towards a solutionTBA
5-leave at leisureWrap-up party on the terrace

Register Now!