Passionate about entrepreneurship, Mahefarivo started his career in 2018 by participating in various entrepreneurship competitions. These allowed him to gain new experiences and expand his network while also growing a desire to start and own his own business.
Transition into Entrepreneurship
When Mahefarivo was 19, he developed his passion for entrepreneurship while at university but didn’t know where to start. Curious by nature and fond of fashion, he thought of making embroidered t-shirt designs that would stand out. After watching a documentary about prisons in Madagascar, he realised that inmates were not economically active and dependent on aid from family or government. This is when he decided to employ them to embroider his t-shirts so that they could have a source of income. This is how Coufé was founded.
Coufé is a social enterprise that produces customisable clothing clothes (T-shirts, women’s tops, etc.) embroidered by prisoners (intramural work) and ex-prisoners (extramural work) in Malagasy. The t-shirts are produced and manufactured in the city and then sent to the prison to be embroidered.
The business aims to provide a source of income to inmates so they can meet their daily needs without depending on outside help; they are paid per embroidered item. In addition, this work allows them to optimize the time they lose in prison. On their release from prison, inmates can continue to work for Coufé to guarantee their social and professional reintegration into society. One day they hope to partner with the prison in order to improve prison conditions, which are almost inhuman in Malagasy.
Since its creation in March 2020, Coufé has created work for more than 20 female prisoners.