We are bringing you stories about the big difference your kindness makes in the daily lives of people who depend on Beyond the Orphanage. Birkeye fostered her niece as part of the Beyond the Orphanage (BTO) community. “BTO helped my family by supporting my foster child. BTO made us equal with others. I feel very happy to...Read now
Saba Alemayoh is a determined and energetic lady. She describes her strongest attribute by saying,
I’m a yes person – when it comes to a new task, my attitude is, I don’t know how but I know I can.
And she means it.
Saba is a young Australian businesswoman with proud Ethiopian heritage. She has recently launched her own business, ‘Saba’s Health Foods’, importing the Ethiopian grain teff into Australia. Teff is used to make the staple Ethiopian bread, injera, but it is also a health food she explains, as it is gluten free and packed with vitamins.
There are many ‘good’ aspects to Saba’s business, a healthy product is one, another being that Saba has created a business that gives back. A percentage of profits from Saba’s teff imports will go to Beyond the Orphanage (BTO) her chosen charity partner.
Sustainability in business is something Saba feels extremely passionate about. “I knew I wanted (my business to be) a system that gave back and even looked into starting my own charity,” she says, “but there were so many regulatory blocks, I knew it would take a lot of work so I decided to find another way to give back. I wanted to find something vetted for Australian and Ethiopian standards so I looked into it and BTO fit perfectly.”
Saba emailed Geoff Hucker, CEO BTO and arranged a meeting. “I could put my hands on my heart and say yes, that’s a good one, I know I can trust where the money is going and that it is making a worthwhile change,” she says.
So what has influenced this entrepreneur to work hard to create a socially responsible business? “I have to say my mother has been a hugely positive influence in my life, not really by her lessons but really by the way she’s lived her life. I’ve grown up very confident in myself and I want to help my family and to do good for others because I can.” She goes on, “I saw my mother work extremely hard here and she helps family members who are still back home in Ethiopia.” This could be the example that inspired the move to sustainable business as the way of becoming a change maker in the world.
At first she had thought of a career in politics. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was going to school, I was really interested in politics, I thought that’s where all the power is you know to achieve change, so I studied arts at university”, she says.
In class though, Saba found conversation too far removed from reality and soon added a business major to double her degree. ‘I’m a very practical person I just couldn’t see how all this talk was actually going to change anything, I thought I’m going to start my own business, I’m going to do things my own way and I’m going to make my own change.’ Again Saba is a woman of her word.
Saba is hoping that customers who care about their health and doing ‘good’ with their dollar will take a Teff home to try for themselves. Visit www.sabashealthfoods.com.au and to find out more about BTO click here.