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Local Nonprofit ABAN Gets A “Leg Up”

By Aaron Keck Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Congratulations to A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN), a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit (with a global mission) that’s just been named as the latest winner of the “Leg Up” competition.

The “Leg Up” program was launched by Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, to provide an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to a wider audience. As a winner, ABAN will have its products featured in the Spanx.com catalog, which reaches millions of customers.

ABAN got its start in 2011 as a class project. Callie Brauel, Rebecca Brandt, and Emmanuel Quarmyne were studying entrepreneurship in Ghana when they got the idea to resolve two problems at once: employing impoverished women, many of them young mothers, to create clothes and accessories out of the plastic water bags that litter the streets there (to the tune of 60 tons a day). Proceeds from the sale of the products (you can find them in many local stores) go to support a 2-year program that empowers Ghanaian women and their children to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Operations manager Mary Kathryne Hutton joined Aaron Keck on the WCHL Afternoon News last week to talk about ABAN and the “Leg Up” award – plus some other honors ABAN has recently received as well.

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