Kakuma Ventures creates a thriving entrepreneurial community and lowers barriers to become an entrepreneur for refugees. We make access easier to essential goods and services for living in a refugee camp.
We built a 100% solar-powered wireless network in the Kakuma refugee camp to bridge the digital divide faced by the refugee by providing them with the means to access affordable energy and internet for their homes, businesses, and individual usage. We map neighborhoods around the camp where there is a high concentration of users. We identify a spot where to install our public wifi access point to be accessed through flexible subscriptions and limited free access (between 30 and 60 minutes of free access depending on the hours). The spot identified for the access point is matched with a local entrepreneur or professional in that neighborhood where all the setup kit is installed. The setup kit is comprised of a solar system to generate and save power, an internet access point, a router, and necessary accessories. The identified entrepreneur enters into a partnership agreement with Kakuma Ventures to manage and maintain the Wi-Fi hotspot for their neighborhood and in return earn free unlimited access to the internet through the wireless network and a 20% commission from the subscription revenues in their neighborhood. This commission is retained toward financing the solar system that is included in the setup kit for the entrepreneur to use the solar system not only to power the Wi-Fi access point but to also power their homes, businesses and meet their personal energy need. At the end of the financing period, the entrepreneur takes over ownership of the solar system. The financing timeline depends on the revenue generated from that neighborhood. The entrepreneur has the option to fast-track the financing of the solar system with income from other sources. The commission retained is reinvested back to finance the next entrepreneur and the cycle starts over and over. The entrepreneur benefits from training in digital literacy, e-commerce, and basic maintenance of solar systems and ICT. We also partner with community members who already own a solar system. We also provide a listing platform for local businesses to sell their products online. We listen to the community we serve to understand their problems and ideas. We train them and provide them with the necessary capital to get started their business ideas or to leverage their existing businesses in form of a loan. We have so far supported 17 entrepreneurs to start a motorbike taxi business.