Kate von Achen


Kate von Achen's picture
Name: Kate von Achen
Organization: Awava
Website: http://www.awavamarket.com
Title: Founding Director
Kate H. von Achen graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a focus on Women in Developing Countries in 2006. The summer following graduation, von Achen traveled to East Africa for the first time to study Fair Trade coffee cooperatives in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with United Students for Fair Trade. von Achen immediately fell in love with Uganda and could not wait to return. Six months later von Achen found herself back where she belonged. In January 2007, von Achen returned to Uganda with Global Youth Partnership for Africa to study the conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. It was then that von Achen decided to obtain her Masters of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. In August 2007 von Achen moved to Uganda to start her M.A. program. In her first year, von Achen helped to start a successful socially-conscious business working with Women tailors in Uganda. Feeling the need to do more, von Achen left that business and decided to start Awava in September 2008. von Achen lived full time in Uganda for five years, and has just moved back to the United States to work on pushing the marketing side of Awava more.

Challenge Entries

Awava is a fair trade social enterprise working with women artisans in post-conflict Northern Uganda on design and innovation, adding value to their existing skills and creating market linkages locally and internationally in an effort to empower families and alleviate poverty. Awava enhances entrepreneurship, business and artisanal skills by conducting trainings which boost each artisans capacity.