The Problem: We live in diverse and able communities with a mix of talents that are sometimes silent or in silos, maybe because they are isolated, unheard, underrated, unrecognized or undiscovered. Especially, in Africa – with the vast untapped resources and opportunities, why do we encourage every youth to seek employment after completion of specialized training? Why can’t we empower the youth to self-employment through innovation? Why can’t the society encourage self-confidence and leadership traits that address the challenges of the 21st century and the impact of globalization? To be specific, why can’t our service seekers easily, conveniently, reliably and securely access services such emergency and assistance services, home fixtures, professional services, car repairs, health services etc. from their phone, at their convenience, whether planned or on-demand? Why was it that when I needed First-Aid in Africa, and there was a highly qualified First-Aid professional within my neighborhood reach, I could not access his services? Why is it that such a fundamental right to survive or prosper is still a puzzle in our neighborhood? Such are the questions that have driven me to seek for a solution.
The Solution: The solution recognizes that eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all is not simply a matter of expanding access to material resources but also an endeavor of structural and social transformation. While addressing Goal 1,2,3,4 of Sustainable Development Goals, the solution offers a “disruptive change” through a SMART mobile app technology. The focus is to use of internet technologies and distributed app to create value addition through appropriate structural change of service or business models, enabling convenience, ease and secure access to services, and social transformation of the society by establishing connected service ecosystems, where innovators, service seekers, service providers and business entities benefit from this form of organization. The solution creates convenience for service seekers and opportunity for the service providers and innovators. All stakeholders and beneficiaries of ecosystem are empowered through self-employment, guidance and counselling, technical support and relevant training to assist them succeed.
- Hypothesis for the proposal and why I expect the proposal to succeed.
The proposal is being tested Kenya, Nairobi environs. In Kenya, the internet usage penetration is over 45%, vehicle motorization is growing at 12.5% and the Kenyan Government 2030 vision aspires to connected cities and communities through an infrastructure of roads, railways, airways, waterways, internet and telecommunications. In addition, the youth embrace the use of technology to change their lifestyle. Using our mobile app and its intelligent GPS, the isolated, unheard, underrated, unrecognized, or undiscovered – our target customers, the invisible will become visible in our mobile app “work-space”. Another use-case of the app is addressing threats on Kenyans roads, including detection of blockage and subsequent removal of such threats. During the months of March and April 2018, we introduced our first release of MVP to our target customers. This led to recruiting 63 Service Providers (SPs) and increasing the downloads to 1000 plus. The customers showed great enthusiasm to use the app. I am confident that this proposal will succeed.