On this week’s edition of StartupNation Radio, brought to you by Pappas Financial, your host, Jeff Sloan, is joined by co-host, Norm Pappas. Together, they chat with Liz Bohannon, founder of Sseko, and Cahill Puil, blockchain expert and managing director of Byte Media Group.
First up is Liz Bohannon, who founded a global multi-million dollar fashion company, Sseko, which has offered more than 106 scholarships to women in Uganda in order to attend university and receive a fair wage.
Since 2009, Sseko has grown from three women making sandals together under a mango tree, to an international multi-million dollar fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial training to over 50 women in East Africa.
After going the traditional startup route (and getting her products into more than 500 stores), Bohannon realized her business was not scaling fast enough.
Sseko then launched a direct sales channel, Sseko Fellows Program, enabling the company to triple the scholarship amount provided to each of their university-bound employees.
The pivot also skyrocketed company revenue 430 percent, to more than $2 million in 2017.
During the show, Liz discusses why she changed her business model, what the results have been, and her overall mission and model for Sseko.
Learn more about Sseko
Later in the show, Jeff and Norm speak with blockchain expert, Cahill Puil. As an advisor and consultant for blockchain companies, tech startups and e-commerce companies, he has worked with brands including Canon, Audi and more.
As managing director of Byte Media Group, based in Toronto, Cahill helps ICOs and tech companies go beyond beta by focusing on strategic branding, marketing and PR.
Cahill defines blockchain as “technology that people can build on.”
He dives into the underlying nature of blockchain, which allows entrepreneurs to build “smart contracts,” working on a distributed ledger system. And while many startups and entrepreneurs are beginning to fundraise through means of ICO using cryptocurrency, it’s also possible to use blockchain for internal operations.
During the show, Cahill explains what an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, is and how it compares to other fundraising models. He also discusses where the marketplace is today, and how entrepreneurs can examine the pros and cons of ICOs for their business. He shares practical applications of alternative currency for businesses, including how entrepreneurs can implement the technology.
Cahill also notes that large corporations like Microsoft, Facebook and Walmart are examining the possibilities that blockchain technology can offer.
Learn more about Cahill
Tune in to WJR 760 AM Radio next Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. for an all-new episode of StartupNation Radio.