Women to Watch: Fatima-Zohra Hakam
Born and raised in Rabat, Morocco, Fatima-Zohra Hakam (known as FZ) has always had a strong determination to create an impact and defy the roles and expectations that women carry, globally.
Thanks to her parent’s strong belief in advanced education, she had the ability to study in Boston, Massachusetts for her undergraduate and graduate degrees to study marketing and leadership. Her entrepreneurial mindset dates back to a young age, as does her passion for chocolate and confections.
After completing her MBA from Bentley University, FZ worked for the nonprofit, The Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute and Zorzal Cacao, while crafting her business strategy.
As she immersed herself within the industry, FZ learned about the prevalent negative stigma that West African cocoa holds. It is the largest global cocoa sourcing region (accounting for over 70% of production) and yet has a very small presence in the USA fine, specialty chocolate market. The little presence it does have, is very often used as a means of marketing rather than proper representation of farmer conditions.
This is where FZ saw an urgent need to create a premium specialty product that can celebrate and recognize West African farmers. She wanted to be part of the new generation of African entrepreneurs leading sustainable business practices, and change through her profit for purpose company ZORA.
ZORA offers single origin organic and vegan dark chocolate bars with direct relations to the growers of cocoa. It is a woman-led, run and operated bean to bar chocolate company committed to sustainable solutions for economically viable growth and prosperity. Their mission is to champion a radical change in the way the world sees West African cocoa.
ZORA aims to shift the thinking about West African cocoa and the people who grow it, leaping beyond the stereotypical representations of farmers in terrible situations. They expect to improve the perception of Ghana cocoa beans among premium chocolate makers and encourage them to increase their imports of premium Ghana cocoa.
In addition to their ethical sourcing model, they also have a Women’s Economic Empowerment program, where they are partnering up with schools in rural areas of Ghana to sponsor girl’s education. For every chocolate bar they sell, they will fund one day of school for a Ghanaian student.
To support FZ's mission, read more about her crowd funding campaign HERE or check out her social media channels below: