One of the highlights of working at MovingWorlds is amplifying the stories of our amazing partners around the world. In this post, we’re excited to feature Zege Technologies, an inspiring, award-winning social enterprise affiliated with Village Capital.
We had the chance to ask Stella from Zege some questions and were inspired by the tenacity and patience they demonstrated while building a sustainable social enterprise. We hope you enjoy their responses as much as we did!
1. What is the story of Zege?
Zege Technologies (aka Zegetech) was started about 4 years ago by a young software engineer Kariuki Gathitu. Kariuki had developed the first ever mobile money-to-bank integration, Mkesho. He teamed up with two other founders, including me, to start Zegetech. Our primary aim was to offer a mobile banking product to banks. However most banks were reluctant to take on technology from a young startup. Faced with this challenge, we had to rethink our strategy and pivot. That is when Zege Technologies started focusing on the SME market to accept mobile payments, as well as provide technology and tools that help small entrepreneurs grow and prosper in doing business, thereby enabling job creation in the areas that need it the most.
2. How do you make the world a better place?
Zege Technologies builds technology focused on payments and business communication, focussing on businesses in the emerging markets – especially startups and SMEs. We have three products namely:
Enables businesses to accept and manage mobile payments as well as cash. The solution also comes with messaging tools to help businesses communicate with clients in real time through sms.
II. Mpayer cashbox
A mobile point of sale that is used by businesses to digitize their payments and operations,using mobile phone/tablet. It is a great tool that is helping distributors and franchises to have proper records. Business owners are now able to run their businesses through their phones, and have access to business information in real-time from anywhere in the world.
The third product is yet to be launched and we are very excited about it. The solution is a tool that will be used by savings/investment groups, to digitize and keep track of their savings within the group, for improved accountability and transparency within groups. It also facilitates crowd funding. Look out for that :-)
We make an impact by providing underserved businesses with access to software that would otherwise only be accessible to larger businesses. Zege technologies wants to put power in the hands of these SMEs by building tools that help them. It is obvious that when businesses grow, more jobs are also created and there is growth in the economy.
On the other hand, mobile money has revolutionized how we transact and has created possibilities to do more business. Zege Technologies is at the centre of the mobile money revolution, and its ability to empower startups and SMEs.
3. What is one interesting thing that most people don’t know about Zege?
It took us over 2 years, from 2010 to 2012 to gain any traction: Patience and persistence is key in business and in making an impact. One does not give up in the first year when you don’t see the results… you keep pushing and pivoting till you find what works.
4. What is one interesting thing that most people don’t know about Nairobi?
Did you know that Nairobi is the only city with a national park within the city. Besides that, Nairobi is a buzz of innovation. Take for instance, the worlds most successful mobile money, Mpesa, is from here. We also have innovation hubs such as IHUB, that is considered one of the most innovative companies in Africa.
5. What is one your proudest accomplishments?
Besides the numerous awards and nominations, reaching over 100,000 transactions and impacting hundreds of SME’s even in rural areas in the first year after launching to serve SME’s was quite a big deal for us.. It made us really proud.
Want to learn more about Zege Technologies and social entrepreneurship in Nairobi? The best thing you can do is go Experteering with Zege. Learn more about the opportunities they have for skilled volunteers. For a limited time, we’re offering a 25% discount to MovingWorlds membership for anybody interested in Experteering with Zege. Use the code Zege-Is-Awesome-2014.
Here is a picture of the Zege Team.