Economic Development

Encouraging Social Innovation

Ryerson University hired Teriano for three years after her graduation to work with the Ryerson Business Management and Digital Media Zone (DMZ) faculty and staff on community projects for Loodariak. Abdullah Snobar, the Director of the DMZ, and George Phu, Operations Manager for SupaMaasai and leader of Digital Insights and Analytics portfolio for Blue Ant Media, were instrumental in assisting Teriano in her community. They both lived in Loodariak for an extended period of time. The Ryerson Vice President of Research and Social Innovation, Dr. Wendy Cukier, mentored Teriano in business development.

George Phu, Beadwork Collective Operations Manager, Abdullah Snobar, Ryerson Director of DMZ and the Lesanchas

Dr Wendy Cukier, VP Research and Social Innovation

SupaMaasai Women’s Beadwork Collective

Ryerson University, through its world ranked Digital Media Zone business incubator, assisted the Loodariak Maasai women in developing a business cooperative in 2013. The SupaMaasai Beadwork Collective creates and distributes Maasai beadwork directly to customers around the world while educating customers about the Maasai people.

SupaMaasai sells authentic, fair trade and fair wage Maasai jewellery and other artisanal items that have been sourced, produced and handcrafted by the Maasai women of Loodariak. This economically empowers the women by allowing them to fairly access the market and eliminating the need of middlemen who did not pay the women fair wages for their work. It allows then to employ economies of scale in the purchase of supplies. Land is available for the Maasai women to build workshops where they can create their products and access literacy services and social support. The community is willing to provide labor to facilitate any projects it perceives necessary.

The Beadwork Collective incorporates Maasai traditional beading culture and allows the women to bring their artisan creativity and handcrafts to the global market. Maasai beadwork has been an established craft since the 1850′s. It encompasses materials brought by European traders and the ingenuity of the Maasai to create unique items that have become a signature of their culture. Two Ryerson University fashion students worked with the Women’s Beadwork Collective in 2013 on traditional designs to be sold online and through the various partners of SupaMaasai.

Products range from jewellery to clothing and other works of art. Proceeds go directly to the five women’s co-operatives, empowering them to become self-sufficient and better provide for their families while giving back to the community. Ryerson University and Holt Renfrew Canada, through their stores in Toronto Canada, and World Vision Canada through its catalogues, all showcase and sell the Maasai craft products.

Beekeeping Project

Ryerson University Enactus business students helped Loodariak set up a Beekeeping Association in 2013. Eight hives were donated to village. Association members were trained on maintenance, honey extraction, product development, branding, sales, and bookkeeping. The Enactus students also ran various workshops on financial literacy, banking, entrepreneurship, and beekeeping. 

Solar Cookers 2016

The Ryerson Kenya Village Project is working with the SupaMaasai Beading Collectives to introduce introducing solar cookers into Loodariak. This collaborative relationship and knowledge transfer between Kithuia and Loodariak villages in Kenya, Ryerson University in Toronto Canada and World Vision (Canada and Kenya), and more recently with Solar Cookers International will be presented at the 6th International Solar Cooker Conference in India, January 2017.

Photo Credit: Solar Cookers International

International Collaboration

Loodariak village has been collaborating with several partners and individuals around economic and educational development in Canada and Kenya.

In Canada

Ryerson University, Toronto Canada

Offices: President, Vice President Academic, Vice President Research and Social Innovation, Vice President University Advancement, Teaching and Learning.

The Ryerson Kenya Village Project

Project Director: Professor Jean Golden, Department of Sociology, Ryerson University.

Project Researchers: Peter Haastrup, Ryerson PhD Policy Studies student; Heather Sadkowski, Ryerson graduate.

Digital Media Zone and Executive Director Abdullah Snobar


George Phu

Operations Manager for SupaMaasai; leader of Digital Insights and Analytics portfolio for Blue Ant Media; Ryerson University Buinsess Graduate.

Ryerson students:

Enactus Business students and Fashion Design students volunteered in Loodariak.

World Vision Canada

World Vision Canada site

External Universities (2014)

McGill and Fraser Valley students


In Kenya

High Commission of Canada in Kenya:

Official Website

The Office of the Governor of Kajiado County:

Office Website of the Governor

 World Vision Kenya

World Vision Kenya Programme site

Solar Cookers International

Solar Cookers International site

Loodariak Village     Teriano’s Story      Education       Economic Development


Website: J Golden

Research Asst: H Sadkowski

& P Haastrup

Site Design: W Cudlip

Photos: J Golden, Ryerson University

& N Cole 


Professor Jean Golden Ryerson University


Site Designer: Walt Cudlip



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