Microsoft names 21 #Insiders4Good Fellowship recipients from East Africa

Microsoft has announced 21 East African entrepreneurs who will receive #Insiders4Good Fellowships. Launched in partnership with GrowthAfrica, the Fellowship aims to support promising entrepreneurs in turning their social business ideas into reality.

This is the second edition of the #Insiders4Good program. Last year, Microsoft awarded #Insiders4Good Fellowships to 25 entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

(TOP: Johnni Kjelsgaard, the GrowthAfrica founder and CEO presents  a certificate to Leah Otieno, one of the #Insiders4Good Fellows. BELOW: Kunle Awosika, the Microsoft Kenya Country Manager, handing over a certificate to Nickson Kariuki of Spurred).    

The East Africa Fellows represent a diverse cohort from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Their businesses address critical social challenges, including youth unemployment, communication for refugees, access to credit for small businesses, and the digital divide facing rural areas. The Fellows were selected based on the innovativeness of their ideas, the strength of their business proposals, and their potential to make a positive impact both in their communities and across East Africa regionally. Each Fellow will receive a suite of Microsoft hardware and software, and 6 months of tailored technical and strategic mentorship from local and international leaders.

“After a rich and rewarding experience supporting promising Nigerian entrepreneurs through the Insiders4Good Fellowship, we are thrilled to expand the program by supporting rising entrepreneurs in East Africa,” Bambo Sofola, Microsoft Director of Software Engineering, said during a press event in Nairobi. “We were impressed by the problem-solving ideas of the East African Fellowship cohort. Many have identified opportunities to tackle longstanding social challenges through recent technological trends, such as mobile phone penetration and digital data. We look forward to working with the East African Insiders4Good Fellows, helping them achieve their goals, and learning about their challenges and creative approaches to realizing their visions.”

The Fellows will kickstart the program with an intensive entrepreneurs’ bootcamp, where they will work with Microsoft and GrowthAfrica staff to build a solid foundation of business skills and mindsets, set goals for the program, and create a roadmap for achieving those goals. The bootcamp is designed to foster supportive connections between the Fellows and to set the groundwork for 6 months of impactful mentorship from local and international experts.

By working with the #Insiders4Good Fellows, Microsoft gains insight into how it can continue to evolve products to help entrepreneurs all over the world succeed. For example, during the Nigerian #Insiders4Good Fellowship, Microsoft’s technology team learned a great deal about the unique challenges faced by Nigerian entrepreneurs and is using these lessons to improve the Windows experience in low-bandwidth and occasionally connected regions.

The #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellows are:

1. Peter Ackech, Mensa Healthcare – Nairobi, Kenya

Mensa Healthcare’s smartcard-based information management system enables the centralized storage of digital records for patients and hospitals while providingactionable data to government agencies, public health organizations, and pharmaceutical companies.

2. Collince Osewe, Chanjo Plus – Nairobi, Kenya

Chanjo Plus helps parents keep track of their children’s vaccination schedules and aggregates data so that vaccine supplies can be matched to local needs, thereby reducing vaccine wastage.

3. Onyancha Chrispinus, clinicPesa– Kampala, Uganda

Leveraging the popularity and existing infrastructure of mobile money, clinicPesaenables individuals to conveniently set aside funds for future health services through their mobile phones.

4. Caleb Ndaka, Kids Comp Camp – Nairobi, Kenya

Kids Comp Camp is a mobile coding and ICT training unit aimed at helping youth in technology-scarce areas gain computer science skills and enhance their employability.

5. Alfred Ongere, Sahibu – Nairobi, Kenya

Sahibu offers refugees in camps an SMS communication platform so that they can build connections with each other, share their stories and concerns, and access crucial information.

6. Nickson Kariuki, Spurred– Nairobi, Kenya

Spurred’s platform provides a simple, convenient way for customers to contribute a portion of their points from loyalty programs towards the humanitarian projects they care about most.

7. Wilson Mnyabwilo, Infoshule- Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Infoshule’s mobile platform enables parents to access the academic records of their children at any time, message teachers, and use mobile payments for school fees.

8. Edgar Mwampinge, Worknasi.com – Dar es salaam, Tanzania

Worknasi.com makes it easier for startups and freelancers to succeed by connecting them with businesses and office owners who want to share their working spaces and meeting rooms.

9. Ange Uwambajimana, IV Drip Alert – Kigali, Rwanda

IV Drip Alert enables nurses to more easily manage intravenous fluids through a wireless alert system, reducing the risk of complications caused by empty IV bags.

10. Job Ndiango, mobScore – Arusha, Tanzania

mobScoreproduces reliable credit scores by analyzing user data from mobile banking and enables Tanzanians to secure affordable loans.

11. John Mugendi – Lyons Analytics – Nairobi, Kenya

Lyons Analytics proposes to develop a predictive and prescriptive system that uses machine learning to track the progression of breast cancer from onset to late stages.

12. Rosine Mwiseneza, Ivomerere – Kigal, Rwanda

Ivomerere’sirrigation solution enables farmers to manage their watering systems automatically and irrigate only when needed.

13. Irving Amukasa, Sophie Bot – Nairobi, Kenya

Sophie Bot is an artificial intelligence persona that answers questions about sexual health, providing private, curated, and verified information from UNFPA Kenya and the National AIDS Control Council.

14. Ronald Sebuhinja K, SchoolMaster Solutions – Kampala, Uganda

SchoolMaster Solutions’ management software enables East African schools to use efficient digital systems to manage records and reduce personnel time as result.

15. Peter Njeri, Mega Gas – Hamisi, Kenya

Mega Gas refines unsorted polythene/plastic waste into clean cooking gas through a process that creates no emissions, residue, or pollution to the environment.

16. Leah Otieno, Mshonaji of Mtaalamu Group Limited – Nairobi, Kenya

Mshonaji’s platform connectstailors to an expanded base of customers through reviews, an e-commerce portal, and sophisticated profile and search functions.

17. Chris Baraka, SMART Insider Cheetahs – Nairobi, Kenya

The SMART Insider Cheetah project jumpstarts affordable internet connectivity to rural and remote areas by becoming a wireless ISP in partnership with Value-Added Resellers that serve early adopters like schools, tourism lodges, police stations, and medical and military centers.

18. Francis Xavier Asiimwe, KRHF Managed Telemedicine Hub – Ibanda, Uganda

KRHF’s telemedicine hub provides a network of rural clinics with remote access to the services of qualified medical professionals.

19. Agnes Nyambura, Gawana – Nairobi, Kenya

Gawana is a long distance ridesharing mobile platform that enables travelers in East Africa to share long distance journeys and split the cost of fuel.

20. BrendahNantongo, Fem Care – Bweyogerere, Uganda

Fem Care is a device designed like a phone that provides women with verified information about maternal, reproductive, and child health, delivered in their own language.

21. Festus Okumu, Azali of Mayol Ltd – Nairobi, Kenya

Azali is a mobile based money lending platform that connects borrowers to a multitude of lenders, including small lenders like chamas and SACCOs.

A growth partner for African entrepreneurs and international companies scaling their business in and across Africa,GrowthAfrica accelerates African business.

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