Roxie Overaker talks about why she chose to do the Responsible Leaders Fellowship and what motivated her to work with David Avido, fashion designer and founder of Looks Like Avido. David is from Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, and re-invests 100% of the profits from his business back into the Kibera community.
Hi, everyone. My name is Roxie. As you can probably tell, I am from the US, born and raised in Boston, and I have just graduated from the Full-time MBA program at ESMT in Berlin. As you can probably tell, I’m not in Berlin at the moment. I actually just landed in Nairobi, Kenya, and it’s part of the Responsible Leaders Fellowship.
So for those of you who don’t know about the Responsible Leaders Fellowship or RLF, it is a program that you can participate in if accepted, following your Master’s in Business Administration with ESMT.
I’m really excited to be here and to have my project accepted because it was actually one of the main reasons that I chose to study at ESMT above all the other prestigious universities. I think as very privileged, fortunate business students, it’s really important for us to not just get back to our local community, but the global community to pass on the knowledge that we have learned. I was really inspired and excited to see that this was a value that ESMT took very seriously and afforded their students the opportunity to participate in.
So, like I said, I’m here in Nairobi. My project has been approved for five months, so I’m going be doing a video series twice a week, highlighting the progress of my project as well as just a little bit about my life in Nairobi and I’m going to be traveling to a few other places as well, going on safari.
I’m really excited to have you guys come along the journey with me. A little bit about my project. So I am working with a very young entrepreneur and fashion designer by the name of David Avido and I’m helping him to scale up his fashion retail company and his brand, which is Looks Like Avido.
David is originally from Kibera. For those of you who don’t know, Kibera is the largest urban slum in Africa. But rather than this holding him back, coming from this place is what has inspired him. Inspired by the artists, at the resilience of the community around him in Kibera, David wants to create a business, to elevate his community, reinvesting all profits into providing employment opportunities for local Kiberian residents.
Eventually, David wants to build a textile and fashion school in Kibera. Our goal over the next five months is to firstly develop a marketing strategy, then create and implement a sales expansion plan, and capitalize on the already existing distribution center that David set up last year in Cologne, Germany, further leveraging the connections that David made when he was visiting Germany last year for Berlin Fashion Week. I’m really excited for you to follow us on this journey for the next five months.
Like I said, I’ll be posting two videos a week and you’ll also be hearing from David. In the next video, I’ll be interviewing him. You’ll get to hear a little bit more about him and his origin story. From my personal experience, he is truly the most inspiring person I have ever spoken to, an absolute born entrepreneur and incredibly passionate, inspiring individual. So I’m excited for you guys to meet him and get to hear more about his goals, ambitions, and the journey that his company has been on so far.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.