FOUNDER:  Salsawit Tsega

INSPIRATION TO START THE BUSINESS:
Salsawit was always curious about tires and tubes and used to experiment with such materials at a young age. Her father who was in the transport business owned trucks. Growing up, she recalls the piles of old truck tires and inner tubes that were stacked at the back of their house as her father did not know what to do with them.

Eventually, Salsawit was able to use her creativity to design fun and functional up-cycled products out of discarded truck inner tubes. Her passion for recycling, her keen interest in sustainability and reducing waste along with her experience in design birthed Basso.

BACKGROUND OF FOUNDER
:
Salsawit was born and raised in Ethiopia and lived the earliest part of her adult life in the United States. Her background is Construction Real Estate Development and Urban Planning/Design, but her extensive experience in product development and her professional background has helped her be successful in her carrier.

DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS ACTIVITIES:
-Years in Operation - Founded in 2015, but product launched and made available for sale early 2020
-Number of staff - 5

KEY CHALLENGES:

Working premises is a challenge as it requires a collection center and cleaning space.

SOCIAL IMPACT:

The Basso collection is made from recycled vehicle tire tubes which otherwise end up in landfills. The tubes we use mainly come from truck tires and are up-cycled into beautifully handcrafted bags that reflect our business ethos of creating products that are high quality, functional, fashionable, and environmentally responsible.

We live in a country where there are no viable means to reuse old tire tubes. In order to make a difference in the reduction of waste and raise awareness towards environmental conservation, Basso has partnered with the Gulelé Botanic Garden to support the “One Basso - One Tree Seedling” initiative.

This partnership allows us to give out one indigenous tree seedling for each Basso bag we sell. The Gulelé Botanic Garden has also dedicated an open space for tree planting within the park in support of our initiative.

FUTURE EXPANSION PLANS:
- We do have a plan to diversify our product range using the same upcycled raw material.

FUNDING REQUEST:
Up to $50,000 (USD)