WAZO

Discipline 
Industrial Design
MBA in Design Strategy
MFA in Fine Arts
Multidisciplinary
Issue 
Economic Development
Youth
Semester/Year 
Fall 2011

Team Members/Disciplines:

Paul Wood | MFA Design  

James Lee | MBA in Design Strategy

Konina Biswas | MFA Design

Benjamin Ilka | MFA Illustration

Collaborators:

Muthaa Community Development Foundation (MCDF)

Location(s):

Kayafungo & Nairobi, Kenya

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