Production for Kivu leather has increased significantly in their new workshop location in Commune d’Ibanda. The laser cutter enabled them to improve not only the quality of the shoes but also the quantity produced. By March 2017, production increased to 1320 pairs of sandals (for both men and women) and 7 pairs of men’s shoes. All shoes and 740 pairs of sandals were sold, generating respectively US $ 210 & US $ 2220 giving them a net profit of US $ 1370.
Kivu Leather partnered with Shalom, a local cooperative producing hand dyed fabric. Together they have developed a new line of women’s sandals. Demand for these sandals is increasing and consequently, Kivu Leather products have sparked interest Nationally.
Kivu Leather have successfully repaid their first loan in full and are repaying the second loan. With more stable income, Kivu Leather have been able to absorb any illegal taxes imposed by fraudulent officials and remain stable as a business.
Kivu leather now employs 15 members of staff who are all able to provide their children with an education and are producing sandals which are accessible to the local market.
Kivu Leather are now looking to open an online shop with the means of freight nationally and support is needed from Ensemble Pour La Difference to develop it as well as a shop in town to continue their collaboration with Shalom and other local Design and Arts enterprises.