MBA in Design Strategy

WAZO

WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa.

Project Overview:

WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa. To offer their workshops, WAZO partnered with 12 members of the Kenyan NGO Muthaa Community Development Foundation, a youth-led organization that provides programs promoting positive community change through self-empowerment. WAZO’s first venture focused on footwear; specifically, a protective shoe made using the local “kiri-kiri” production practice of repurposing old car tires.  WAZO’s entrepreneurship courses and product development tools helped participants generate income and build the capacity to launch future projects.

WAZO also provided three months of paid training in the design thinking process, and hosted workshops on business development and financial literacy that were conducted by Equity Bank. WAZO participants sold over 20 pairs of shoes and made a significant profit to support their continued shoe production. WAZO also awarded materials, a stipend, and one-month internships to three young men and three young women so they could continue producing shoes to generate income.

“We are so excited and proud of the team, and can’t wait to hear about the future!” – WAZO, IMPACT Awardee 2011
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JuaBar

Juabar is a CCA student designed – solar powered, mobile charging station for Tanzania’s rural community. The kiosks use solar energy to charge multiple cell phones at a time and provide a unique business opportunity for the “juapreneurs,” or local entrepreneurs, operating the stations.  

Project Overview:

Juabar is a mobile charging station that harnesses solar power for Tanzania’s off-grid community members and is both a solar energy and a retail platform for the community. Tanzanian operators use the charging stations as pop up energy businesses, simultaneously creating new jobs in rural areas and improving access to solar power. Juabar’s scalable system cultivates, trust and demand for solar products while highlighting the benefits for cleaner energy sources in off-grid communities.

Juabar works closely with local partner Appropriate Rural Technology Institute [ARTI] who supports Juabar with a work team, solar supplier, communication (translation), and the community credibility needed to work within Tanzania’s off-grid communities.

We have evolved our thinking around what is the biggest impact that we could make with Juabar and moving forward our mission is to develop profitable small business opportunities while meeting community energy needs by designing and building local, low-cost phone charging kiosks powered by solar. – Juabar, IMPACT Awardee 2012

Project Outcome:

Revenue sales grew faster than expected for the first Juabar kiosk and inspired the Juabar team to think bigger about the impact their mobile kiosks could have on off-grid communities. Team Juabar developed a reasonable payback structure for the local entrepreneurs, or “Juapreneurs,” that allowed them to “rent-to-own” each Juabar charging kiosk. Team members Olivia Nava and Sachi DeCou continue to run Juabar as a vibrant business with 30 new charging stations and have expanded to also distribute solar lighting from Juabar kiosks to over 4,000 customers.

 

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