Brand Union Empowers All-Female Sub-Saharan Startup

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Brand Union has unveiled a new brand platform and website for technology start-up Kiteka, the first all-female, all-mobile digital outsourcing network for female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kiteka empowers small business owners in Uganda through access to smartphone technology, training and mentorship. The project is part of Brand Union’s involvement in parent company WPP’s commitment to Common Ground, an industry-wide initiative supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, within which WPP’s responsibility is addressing gender equality.

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Previously known as 100 Phones, Brand Union sought to bridge the perception gap between the client’s philanthropic cause and credibility as a service provider for small businesses. The name is based on a Ugandan Goddess and the identity was envisaged by merging cues that express the enterprise’s African roots, gender empowerment and technology. The importance of storytelling in African design is channelled through contemporary symbolism, blending bold color palettes and traditional pattern work with more pared-back, tech-inspired design. Brand Union studied vibrant fabric prints and classical dress from the region to create unique patterns that also incorporate modern tech symbols and UI elements.

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The branding was unveiled at a launch event in Central London, at which leading female entrepreneurs and academics discussed the power of digital innovation for international development. For example, owning a smartphone increases income for over half of entrepreneurs in low income countries. However in Uganda 64% of women do not own a phone at all and are 23% less likely to own one than men. Toby Southgate, Worldwide CEO of Brand Union commented: “We were honored to partner with Kiteka, whose cause is close to my heart. Working collaboratively is at the center of Brand Union’s ethos and we are proud to be able to use our expertise to contribute to WPP’s Common Ground initiative addressing gender equality.”

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