Founder, Sseko Designs
Liz Forkin Bohannon is the founder of Sseko Designs. Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand that works to educate and empower women. By providing employment and educational opportunities, Sseko enables women to continue their education and become leaders in their country.
Liz graduated from the University of Missouri with a Master’s degree in Journalism. In 2008, she moved to Uganda to assist in the communications efforts for a youth development organization based in Kampala. While there, Liz met an incredible group of talented young women who were struggling to finance their education.
After travelling the country by motorcycle to find raw materials and learn how to produce footwear by hand, Liz hired three young women and started Sseko Designs. In four years, Sseko has grown from three women making sandals together under a mango tree, to an international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial training to over 50 women in East Africa.
Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoe-maker, Liz shares her passion for social enterprise, conscious consumerism, social justice, creative leadership, gender equity, risk-taking, and empowering women. She believes deeply that business is a powerful platform for social change and that girls are our future. She has spoken in venues around the world including France, Estonia and all over North America and East Africa. Her disarmingly authentic and witty voice captivates and inspires her audience. The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including: Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Shape Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Huffington Post, LA TIMES and others. Among other notable honors, Liz is a Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards finalist, the SVN Innovation Award Winner, the SXSW Eco Social Impact Award Winner, and Bloomberg Businessweek’s top social entrepreneur to watch.
She now splits her time between Uganda and Portland, Oregon, where she and her husband Ben run Sseko Designs and raise their son, Theo.