Kenya’s Kakuma Ventures brings solar-powered internet access to residents in one of the world’s largest refugee camps. The business was founded by refugee, Innocent Tshilombo, and allows entrepreneurs across the Kakuma camp to set up and manage WiFi hotspots in their own neighbourhood.
Over 1,500 people in the camp have been helped to get online, many of them first time internet users.
Internet access is boosting enterprises across the camp – from shops to graphic designers – as well as the education of more than 400 students. Kakuma Ventures has also trained more than 60 young people in computing and solar engineering skills, and helped them find job opportunities.
A job that helped Conzana work and study
Refugee Conzana Cornelius is Kakuma Venture’s Operations Manager. She says:
”“When I joined, I had an opportunity to study and work at the same time. I was raised by a single mother in the camp and I feel empowered because I can contribute to the running of my home.”
Wi-Fi is a family business for Maureen and Mwanadamu
Married couple Maureen and Mwanadamu have worked with Kakuma Ventures to become neighbourhood Wi-Fi entrepreneurs. Mwanadamu helps local people subscribe to the Wi-Fi service run by the family, while Maureen uses technical training from Kakuma Ventures to maintain the solar system that keeps the service powered up. This business model has brought affordable internet access to nearby families, and clean energy to the family’s home.