Five Minutes With Entrepreneur Christine Souffrant, Founder And CEO, Vendedy
“Instead of creating another charity company or e-commerce websitewith static images of products that are only bought during [the] holidays,” Christine Souffrant was keen on thinking differently when creating her social enterprise, Vendedy. The founder and CEO says that the core motivation behind her startup, which connects street sellers with consumers, was to try and meet the challenge of creating a stable consumer base for those forced to turn to touristic, traffic-heavy streets to sell their wares in cities around the world that are rife with economic challenges.
Vendedy’s sellers, street vendors targeting tourists who seek locally-made, authentic products in street markets, are a segment isolated from the digital space. With Vendedy’s app, street vendors can upload photos of their wares online, giving them exposure to consumers who can bid on the products. Vendedy’s kiosk shipping networks give consumers access to artisan designs from over 150 countries on its database, and once an order has been delivered, sellers are able to receive their payments via SMS.
Souffrant notes that Vendedy is also a win for the fintech industry as the platform digitizes the informal economy of street vendors. The company also provides payment partners data transactions in low-income populations. Vendedy’s added benefit is that it can be great for culling data on consumer spends by giving insight into the preferences of travelers and tourists on street products that are often sold off the grid- and therefore enables for some type of inventory tracking helping these microenterprises focus more on what actually sells, when, and to who.