The only Swedish Team to contest in this year’s Hult Prize Challenge is competing in the online wildcard round after being named runner Up at the London Regionals in March.
Picture: The Kazi Connect team: Alena Klatte (Msc International Business), Benjamin Lau (Msc Management), Nick Harinos (Msc Economics) and Julia Mut (Msc Marketing).
After spending the last month on a field study in Nairobi, the team has just released a promo film for their social startup.
In October 2015, Bill Clinton asked students worldwide to build a sustainable, scalable and fast-growing social enterprise that doubles the income of 10 million people residing in crowded urban spaces.
A dedicated team of four friends from Stockholm School of Economics took on the challenge and created Kazi Connect, an online, mobile and SMS enabled platform that matches domestic workers and tradesmen in Nairobi with job opportunities provided by small to medium sized enterprises and private households. To achieve greater social impact and broader economic inclusion, Kazi Connect also empowers workers by providing them with upskilling opportunities through their established partners in Nairobi, including vocational centres.
"We believe that through better employment conditions and training opportunities, we can achieve higher levels of productivity, translating into greater contribution to the economy, and a stronger voice for informal workers.”- says Julia Mut (Msc Marketing), Co-Founder & CEO of Kazi Connect
So far, the team of SSE students have finished in the top 35 teams of 25,000 applicants worldwide. In March, five regional finals were held simultaneously in major cities (London, San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai and Dubai) with 60 teams competing in each. After the morning heats, Kazi Connect was chosen amongst the top 6 teams in London and were invited to pitch in front of over 350 people at London Museum. While Cambridge University managed to take the top spot, the Kazi Connect team impressed and attracted tremendous support from the judges, organizers and other competing teams, and were name runners up.
Not giving up on their vision, Kazi Connect are now competing in the Online Round of the Hult Prize Challenge, which reserves one Wild Card for the final team to join the Hult Accelerator program in July and August. The 6 final teams will then compete for US $1 million in seed-funding, at the global finals in September, held at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting hosted by former US President Bill Clinton.
Towards this goal, Kazi Connect has spent the last month Nairobi to meet with potential partners and test their product with workers and employers alike.
“We are humbled to have come so far and grateful to have met such inspiring teams at the Regionals in London. To us, this is just the beginning! We are determined to improve the lives of millions of informal workers worldwide!” - Benjamin Lau (Msc Management), Co-Founder & CFO.