Put the zing in it: Refugee-turned-entrepreneur Yarrie Bangura’s tonic for success


Warning: This episode of First Act deals with trauma and may be potentially distressing for some listeners.

Yarrie Bangura is a survivor. At the age of eight years old, her family fled the civil war in Sierra Leone and migrated to Australia as refugees. While the painful memories live on, Yarrie has found a way to celebrate the positive parts of growing up in her West African village.

Inspired by a natural recipe made by her aunty and grandmother, Yarrie created Aunty’s Ginger Tonic. Now a successful entrepreneur living in Sydney, Yarrie has captured the vibrant spirit of Africa and is passionate about giving back to her adopted homeland of Australia.

Episode notes:

In this episode, Yarrie talks about:

  • 4.00: Life in Sierra Leone and the conflict that caused Yarrie’s family to flee
  • 9.30: Starting new life in Australia as a teen – coping with trauma + learning a new language
  • 16.30: Yarrie’s mother’s inspiring entrepreneurial survival skills
  • 19.25: The family inspiration and product development behind Aunty’s Ginger Tonic
  • 27.30: Expanding from markets to supermarket shelves
  • 31.45: Building a business support network to help you reach success
  • 36.45: Next steps: Expanding the Aunty’s Ginger Tonic flavour range

Click here for the full episode transcript.

Aunty’s Ginger Tonic has big plans to launch THREE new flavours – Lemon, Clove and Pineapple. With more flavours to offer, Yarrie will have the opportunity to sell in bigger retailers to generate profits that go towards supporting female refugees in Australia.

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