Veronica and Eric grew up in Kawangware where they witnessed the
challenge of getting fresh and affordable vegetables. To mitigate this, they
started using hydroponics, a farming method that utilizes degraded lands
and reduces water requirements for farmers. They have now set up 13 small
scale farms across informal settlements in Nairobi.
VERONICA AND ERIC
When Josephine was unemployed, a friend taught her how to make candles. Eventually, she began to sell her candles to people in her community and became financially independent. She realized
that by training other single or unemployed women to make and sell candles, she could help to bring them out of poverty, inspiring the founding of Mwangaza Candles.
Rose produces healthy, organic peanut butter. Popular around Nairobi, her peanut butter is providing an affordable source of protein. As well, Rose hires women in Mathare to help produce and sell the product.
Carol founded WeeCare to teach early childhood education and educate young mothers on the importance of speaking and reading to their kids early. Carol works with multiple women’s groups to help them implement educational activities with their kids into their hectic schedules.
Michelle and Thomas have started Habari Kibra to be a platform that allows
youth to engage their passion for journalism. The training program teaches
youth a wide range of skills, from writing to photography to TV/media
production, so that they can reach their ambitions in an ever-changing and
diverse industry. Graduates are set up with income-producing journalism jobs
or join the Habari Kibra team to sell content to local media hubs in Nairobi.
MICHELLE AND THOMAS
Josphat takes toxic solid waste and repurposes it to create jobs in underserved communities. He employs youth to collect electronic waste and make different electronic products from it. He was inspired to do this after being
unable to afford a phone when he was young and witnessing the pile up of toxic materials outside his home.
Margaret started PapShop after noticing a gap in access to and information about temporary retail spaces for artisans seeking to showcase and sell their products. At the same time, malls, hotels
and store fronts had available retail space. PapShop is an online platform that takes the hassle out of finding and renting retail space, connecting artisans to temporary spaces.
Growing up in Kibera, Magda had many friends drop out of school because of getting pregnant young. She started Mother’s Bakery to use her talent in baking to help train young women with a skill that could help them be self sustainable. She trains young, single mothers and then brings them on her team to produce breads, cakes and other baked good
Vivian creates unique Afrocentric pieces, providing a look that gives the wearer a one-of-a-kind flair. Her designs are made
from recycled scrap material she gathers from seamstresses, creating sustainable apparel. Through apprenticeships she
employs youth to collect scrap fabric and produce clothes.
David was born and raised in the slums of Kibera and was inspired by the art he saw everyday in his community. David’s line of clothing is inspired by the streets of Kibera, and his desire to share his home
fashions with people around the world
FheelBeta nutritional products produces high quality immunity boosters, wheat-grass juice, and wheatgrass powder products that are tasty, healthy, and affordable. We focus on improving health standards in the country while creating job opportunities for unemployed youth.
SportBaze is a youth led business venture that seeks to provide footballs and sporting equipment products to clubs,
learning institutions, tournaments, and sports team. SportBaze fabricates and brands high-quality, pure leather handmade footballs through a unique production concept that results in a significant reduction in production cost when compared with that of existing providers.
Rose has witnessed dangers Kibera women experience when they journey
to the marketplace early in the morning or late at night. Rose runs a farm where she grows fresh fruits and vegetables locally that are both affordable and accessible. Rose has now built a greenhouse and created sack gardens, allowing her to farm in any season. Rose is also creating a fish farm to help create organic fertilizer for her produce.
AfriKnit Dolls makes African dolls from scrap/waste fabric to clean up the environment, address the lack of African
inspired dolls in the market and also train school dropouts and employ destitute youth from the surrounding community. AfriKnit Dolls creates employment for
vulnerable youth in the community
through this business.
SUSAN AND MESHACK
Elizabeth witnessed many girls and young women in urban low income areas miss school and other important daily activities
monthly because they could not afford sanitary towels. In response, she began experimenting with making reusable
sanitary towels to address this issue. Her company, Ahadi, produces high quality reusable sanitary pads.
ReAfric is a recycling company collecting waste materials such as leather shoes from industries, used fabrics from tailors, used vehicle tires, leather from carpenters and old jeans to make quality and durable footwear, sold both locally and abroad. They work with young mothers and youth
to train them to be skilled artisans, producing shoes and generate sustainable source of income.
Yo-Toto Yogurt was started to provide a healthy lunch and snack alternative
to the children of Kibera. The yogurt is made without preservatives, using probiotic cultures and fruit-based natural flavors. It is rich in protein, calcium,
Vitamin B, potassium and magnesium, and improves both digestion and the
immune system. Available in strawberry and vanilla, Yo-Toto yogurt makes a
perfect school snack or quick and healthy breakfast for working parents. The
company also makes made-to-order smoothies and fruit cups.
Emmanuel grew up in Kawangware where he witnessed many small businesses popping up that would last only a short period of time because they did not have a clear idea of how to market to their customers. He therefore started making
digital art and branding for businesses in Kawangware. Vutia Watu empowers local youth by offering digital art and design
training and then connecting them to jobs.
Working at her neighborhood market in Githurai, Faith saw the potential to turn excess rice sacks into durable, cost effective shopping bags. The recent plastic bag ban in Nairobi makes Faith’s bags even more popular. She also recycles used jeans and other waste fabric and transforms them into beautiful bags which are also used by school-going children in her community.
Bernard discovered his passion for singing and creating music as a teenager in Kibera. He started Vessels Music School to teach voice, piano, guitar and other instruments, but also to use the “universal language of music” to bridge
divides in his community, create employment and empower youth to embrace their creativity.
Derick and Johnstone created a power backup system to tackle the challenge of frequent power blackouts in Kibera and other low income areas, producing an affordable power alternative for low income earners. Power outages are especially detrimental to businesses in these areas that often have to shut down for hours or days at a time. One Ufanisi power backup can support operations at a restaurant for an entire day.
DERRICK AND JOHNSTONE
Maseline was inspired to found Seline Pads when a girl came to her office for counseling after her widowed mum could not afford sanitary napkins. The young girl had to improvise with rags which made menstrual blood leak through her dress. Seline Pads now provides disadvantaged young women with sanitary towels and
undergarments. Her products are eco-friendly, reusable, and washable.
Socatoa is a laundry service responding to the need for an affordable place for busy people in the community to drop off clothes and have them cleaned. Derick heard several stories of abuse against women who cleaned others’ homes in his community and as a result his business employs these women, providing them a safe space to continue their jobs
whilst gaining a stable income
Zegem detergents is a small business enterprise that produces highly effective, homemade detergents which are supplied to individuals and institutions at affordable prices. We also train and employ women engaged in sex work
who are looking for alternative means of income to support themselves and their families.
Steven is working to provide clean water delivery and shower services in Kibera, eliminating the burden of water collection and reducing the incidence of water-born diseases. Along with the delivery of water, his customers will receive public health and sanitation information through a mobile application.
Stanley is working to teach youth in Kibera high-level computer programming languages in their own community. His graduates have had the opportunity to find freelancing jobs through platforms such as Elance, Upwork and iWriter and be hired by large companies like Samasource.
The mother-daughter team of Hilda and Diana make reusable diapers. They were inspired by seeing single mothers from Korogocho struggling to purchase sufficient diapers for their babies. Their diapers are 50 ksh and last an entire month! This both cuts down on a huge cost for mothers and reduces pollution.
HILDA AND DIANA
Seth grew up watching their parents produce honey. He sees honey as an important staple as it can be used to treat a variety of conditions, from dandruff and allergies to coughs and burns. Honey has not only been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years, but also can control
blood sugar levels and tastes great!
Simon creates furniture such as chairs, tables and footrests from recycled tires. He was inspired after he witnessed the 2007/2008 election violence, where people burned tires in protest. He decided to employ idle youth to make art out of these tires instead of burning them.
Nutrition Palace is a healthy food cafe in Kibera, Nairobi. Their mission is to produce nutritious, great tasting meals that are affordable to their community. Where previously only existed fast food restaurants, their cafe offers a healthy
alternative for a low-income population.
Allan is the founder of Portable Voices podcasts, which produces interactive weekly podcasts focused on Nairobi’s informal settlements, and enabling the community residents to express themselves creatively. They are now also piloting the production of African literature audio books.
Elkanah is a web designer from Kawangware who started DoubleServ to train youth there in web design skills. His
mission is to form a team to sell web design services to businesses in Nairobi. He is now expanding his program to reach the refugee Sudanese population in Nairobi.
Steven has developed an affordable solar powered jiko (stove) that replaces the more commonly used charcoal powered jiko. Charcoal jikos are a hazard to the environment, as well as peoples’ health, from air pollution. He is also creating a solar water heating system to warm
showers in an environmentally friendly way. Further, to its affordability, Jiko Solar can be purchased with small payments over a period of time, making it more accessible to people in the community.
Kizito converts natural materials like wood calabashes into artifacts such as wall hangings and lampshades. His goal is to preserve Kenyan culture while empowering young talented entrepreneurs. His vision is to see today’s
youth earn from their arts and original creations.
KIZITO ARTS CREATION
Steven grew up in Baba-Dogo where he saw many of his peers turn to drugs and alcohol as they got older. He wanted to create an alternative outlet for youth and began to recycle local solid waste to create fine pieces of art. His products include paintings, portraits, sculptures, bracelets, earrings, door mats and bookmarks. To make this artwork he employs youth in low-income areas to
both collect the waste and make the final products.
Revosoft Kenya is a software company based in Kibera. We provide the simplest record keeping and accounting app for
micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. With our simple record keeping app created in Swahili and local languages and comprised of an automated accounting system, our goal
is to reduce the number of MSMEs that die every year and increase their access to credit.
Maples Oven Caterers is a healthy food cafe aimed at offering hygienic, organic meals at affordable prices for the
underserved community of Kibera. We also have a training program for widows and young mothers, through which they are trained in healthy cooking techniques and given job opportunities. I feel strongly about supporting these groups because of the hardships I went through as a widow.
Kiscom provides affordable information communication technology
services to the people of Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi that is
thought to be the largest slum in Africa and one of the largest in the world.
Kiscom offers computer training to disadvantaged youth in the community,
subsidizing these services through the other ICT services offered. Kiscom
also promoted education by providing library resources to kids who cannot
afford school books, allowing them to rent at a low-cost after school.
Throughout his time in Kibera, Abraham has witnessed the deforestation
and health problems caused by coal. Potter’s Briquettes are made of
waste products and sugarcane remains. Not only do his briquettes cause less environmental harm than coal does, but they are also cheaper, longer lasting and less damaging to users’ health.