• Our Story

Africa is a continent with exceptional creative talent. At Dabira, we believe that this creativity has the power to build prosperous businesses and communities.

Dabira, which means to create something marvelous in the Yoruba language, was created as a way to help support small businesses in Africa’s creative industries. The idea of Dabira first came to its founder, Charlotte Ashamu, after she spent several years working with African designers to help sell their work in overseas markets. It was difficult for many designers to meet the requirements of international buyers and to access the right expertise and resources needed to take their businesses to the next level of growth. It became clear that a business incubator was needed, a company that could provide an array of business services to designers including workspace, capital, coaching and networking.

Dabira’s very first program started in South Africa in 2010. We launched a weekly business training and mentoring program at the University of Johannesburg serving over 100 fashion entrepreneurs and students. In 2016, Dabira was formally launched in Cote d’Ivoire, and is growing the first incubator of its kind in Africa specialized in supporting businesses in the fashion and design industry. Our vision is to create a vibrant hub for creativity in Africa that provides small businesses with the support they need to prosper and that brings locally made design to consumers in Africa and around the world.