Meet the 2015 Unreasonable Ventures
Connecting youth to jobs with a social SMS‐based platform
SPouts of Waters
Providing clean drinking water by locally manufacturing water filters Read More
Empowering smallholder fruit and vegetable farmersRead More
Kajo-Keji Health Training Institute
Developing South Sudan’s health care system Read More
Increasing efficiency of East African pharmaceutical supply chains Read More
Natural Extracts Industry
Creating additional income channels for smallholder farmers Read More
Enabling companies to offer micro‐insurance and micro‐credit to employees Read More
Bicycles Against Poverty
Linking rural populations to goods, services and additional revenue sources Read More
Transforming family health by educating mothers via SMS Read More
There are 10 million unemployed youth in Kenya. That’s more than the entire population of New York City, all struggling to find a job. At the same time, small businesses in Kenya, responsible for 65 percent of new jobs created per year, struggle to find candidates to fill jobs. Commonly, qualified applicants miss out on job opportunities because they don’t hear about them, or because they don’t know how to present their skills. DUMA Works creates a solution for both the job seeker and the employer. Job seekers use mobile‐based technology that helps them create CVs and receive relevant job alerts to find and apply for jobs. Companies use recruiting tools such as network recruiting and customizable screening tests to find and hire the right candidates. So far, DUMA has hired for over 250 companies and has matched over 2,000 people to jobs in Kenya.
The stories of “failed water projects” seem to come out of Africa more frequently than successful ones. One reason that many water projects have failed here is that they rely on donor funding to give away water pumps/filters/other solutions for free. When the donor money runs out, so does the solution. SPOUTS of Water is challenging the traditional water project models in Uganda, where they are manufacturing and supplying a ceramic water filter made with local resources and materials. Their business model makes the filter affordable, but also produces enough revenue for their business to be sustainable. Since founding in 2012, SPOUTS has sold over 400 filters, giving approximately 3,500 people access to clean drinking water..
Almost 75 percent of Kenyans, nearly 34 million people, are farmers. However, five percent of those farmers monopolize over 80% of the fruit and vegetable sales while the majority struggle to form advantageous relationships with markets to sell their goods. Ojay Greene enables more of these farmers to earn a living by linking them to profitable urban markets. They have contracts with 5 supermarket chains, and in less than six months, have increased the incomes of 30 farmers by 40%.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are only around 120 medical doctors serving nearly nine million people in South Sudan, the third fastest growing population in the world. But amidst the turmoil, including upcoming elections and lack of a proper health care system, the team at Kajo‐Keji Health Training Institute has found an accelerated way to train students to become doctors at one fifth of the cost of traditional medical‐training programs in the region. They’ve already trained 60 doctors and they’re looking to expand operations.
Kenya & Tanzania
Up to three of every five medicines sold by a pharmacy in Africa are fake; malaria tablets, tuberculosis medications, even oral contraceptives cannot be trusted. Because of unreliable medicine, an estimated 100 thousand Africans die every year. Miti Health is working to combat this in Kenya and Tanzania by providing pharmacies with software that tracks their inventory and suppliers of quality good medication. They’ve already signed up 15 chemist shops in Kenya and Tanzania, and are growing quickly.
Tanzania’s economy depends on agriculture; it employs about 80% of the workforce and accounts for about half of the national income. Despite these conditions, the majority of the 20 million Tanzanian farmers are smallholders struggling to make a sustainable income. The modest profits they make are reduced because they don’t have the bargaining power of a larger farm to get good prices for their yields. Natural Extracts Industries (NEI) gives smallholder farmers a way to increase their income by teaching them to grow high‐value cash crops, and then purchasing these crops from the farmers. NEI then produces all‐natural food flavors and sells them globally. To date, they have purchased over $60,000 of product from 1,000 smallholder farmers.
Every month in Kenya, even people with jobs have to take out loans, unable to cover their costs until the following month’s paycheck. Often workers are forced to go to loan sharks that charge extraordinarily high interest rates, leading to long‐term indebtedness. iNuka pap is a HR application that allows employees to access low‐interest micro‐credit through their mobile phone by deducting the money directly from their salary for the following month. Because only four percent of the 21 million working population of Kenya are insured by their employers, the iNuka pap platform also makes insurance more accessible by allowing employers to insure their workers and their families for as low as $0.03 a day.
Over 75 percent of rural Ugandans travel by walking, which (on average) puts clean water 45 minutes away, health clinics an hour away and a major market an hour and a half away. Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP) gives people living in remote villages more control over their time and lives with lease‐to‐own bicycles. Bicycles increase income by at least 30 percent in Uganda and market attendance triples after owning a bicycle due to more access and time efficiency. To date, BAP has sold over 1,000 bicycles generating an estimated $90,000 of extra income for the farmers who ride them.
Each year more than one million mothers give birth in Kenya; 46 percent of these births are not within a hospital setting, endangering the life of the mother and the child. Beyond this, many mothers do not have easy access to health information as their children grow, which leads to overlooked early growth abnormalities. Toto Health empowers mothers with health information and growth indicators for their children from conception to five years of age delivered by text message. Since founding in 2014, they have managed to reduce maternal mortality from 31 out of 100 to 18 in one sub‐county of Kenya.