Microfinance in Moshi

Hola

Eating some spaghetti bolognese for lunch. leaving Arusha for Moshi after this to observe our friend Marcel in action, he works with microfinance. Hopefully we will get to talk to people actually using the service, would be really cool to hear about the impact from their point of view. We met an Indian woman the other day in Uganda also working with microfinance. She pointed out the corruption and how a lot of people get conned.

Have to go now, will tell you all about our day in Moshi when we get back!

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Back at the iHub tower and once again in Mlab

Hey folks,

Today has been a busy day. We met up with Sam from Akirachix, Clara from M-farm and Mark working at UX lab, also a part of the nexus in the Bishop Magua center. Mark also invited us to sit in on a senior designer at Microsoft talking about Windows 8, which was very interesting due to all the complaints windows 8 has recieved.

Akirachix

Akirachix aims to:
” inspire and mentor students and young women in technology, developing them into powerful trailblazers in technology.”

The organization is non-profit and the girls do not have to pay any tuition. The founders are a group of women.They saw the low amount of women within the IT-sector here in Kenya, wanting to give ambitious women with tough backgrounds a way into the system. For more info on Akirachix click here or wait for the upcoming case-study on them that will include future expansion plans.

After completion of the course the women have succesfully entered different areas Samuel told us. Areas such as: graphic designing. furhter studies abroad, it-assistans and teachers at schools; overall Akirachix has had a huge impact since launch 3 years ago and changed completely for so many women. Do not be surprised if the name Akirachix pops up in the future, it is a company worth following!

M-farm Ltd

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Clara agreed to meet us the other day. She told us about M-farm, a short summary of her background and some general notes she has taken on what the mobile leapfrog-effect has done for society in Kenya.

M-farm is a software solution and agribusiness company. Their main product is a tool for Kenyan farmers to get information about the prices of their products, such as avocados, eggs, lemons etc.
“Since many farmers do not have access to internet, M-Farm has adopted an SMS-based solution where they send a simple text to 20255 (Safaricom Users) depending on what they are looking for.” Founded by Linda, Jamila and Susan 3 years ago saw how farmers’ needed up-to-date prices on their crops. They are currently active in the five biggest cities in Kenya.  Each city has personnel checking the  local prices every day since they differ from place to place, obviously dependent on supply and demand.  The text message is standard rate of 1 KES (0.012 USD). Profit is earned by adding an extra percentage to the buyers payment.

We also went to Mlab, located on the 2nd floor in the same building as iHub. Talked to a few different companies and their members but unfortunately they did not have time for interviews, so we’ll have to continue communication online.

Fun fact about the iHub. since it’s founding by Erik Hersman in 2010 it has infested the building. Slowly  but all the more steadily taken over new areas of the Bishop Magua center, just like the tech scene reforming the Kenyan markets.