Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts
UPDATE: Sara passed away in May 2013 — read the remembrance by Celena Green.
Sara Katebalirwe is the managing director of Royal Bark Cloth Designs Limited in Kampala, Uganda, and an alumna of the 2009 Vital Voices Kenya Training program. Sara founded the bark-based clothing manufacturing company in 2008.
Today, the company is one of Uganda’s leading producers of bark cloth accessories, luxury office supplies, home decorations and gift items.
Sara runs her business on one guiding principle: a commitment to the community. As her company expands, Sara remains dedicated to employing local women and using indigenous materials.
Every year, the Cartier Foundation launches the Women’s Initiative Awards, an international business plan competition to identify and support women entrepreneurs from around the world. In 2010, the Foundation selected Sara Katebalirwe as one of 15 finalists in the running for the $20,000 grant.
“Being selected as one of the 15 finalists in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards has had a tremendous impact on our business,” says Sara. “The recognition of what this selection entails has boosted our confidence in our mission and vision; and has encouraged us to stay on course.”