Benekatters for poverty eradication in slum areas

Benekatters for poverty eradication in slum areas: Benekatters, the Automatic cutter for low income vegetable vendors in Kenya,

Kenyatta University, KenyaNairobi Sub urban area, Kenya
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In Kenya, vegetables are cut in tinny sizes before cooking.
Most urban residents prefer to buy cut vegetables from the vendors known as 'mama mbogas'.
Using ordinary knives, the mama mboga incur accident while trying to efficiently serve many customers.
Benekatters ensure safety, efficiency

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all women in African slums could have a viable business that caters for their needs and educate their children up to university levels?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

A lady cut a third of her left hand index finger while trying to cut vegetables faster to keep up to the pace of her surging number of evening customers; she was hospitalized but unfortunately after loosing lots of blood in delays due to lack of enough funds.This lady was trying to earn a living, using an ordinary knife, her safety at risk. 72% of urban population in Kenya depend on vegetable business daily.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

with such accidents in Nairobi and most agro-markets in Kenya, benekatters came up. The benekatter, an automatic machine has a concealed blade, to ensure the users safety hence eradicating accidents at work. Being automatic, it brings super speed while working hence proving an efficient way of cutting vegetables thus enables one to serve a large traffic of customers. This brings more returns to the business. In addition, customers will enjoy fresh vegetables as they are only cut at demand, unlike in the current scenario where vegetables are cut during the day and stuffed in polythene bags to be sold the the overwhelming numbers of evening customers, while stale; an move that has attributed to many cases of rise in infections.

Awards

We have been luck to showcase at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, but if we win, this will be the first award.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In the scenario, where a woman accidentally chopped off her finger while cutting vegetables with an ordinary knife, the benekatters solve this by bringing safety to the user in ensuring that she can work while not in personal contact with the blade. The benekatter innovation will improve the lives of the women in urban areas who daily cut vegetables for a living by increasing their sales due to its efficiency. The benekatter will improve the hygiene of the cut vegetables hence enabling a healthy nation. The benekatter will also create employment opportunities to the youth and the entire Kenyan population. It will bring more business opportunities to those who feared to engage in the vegetable cutting business due to the risks involved

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our innovation will have a definite impact on the society; to start with, by the end of years one, 15% of our target population will have attained safety, hygiene and efficiency in their businesses because they will be using the Benekatters. That is to say, the entire 150,000 out of one million vegetable vendors in Nairobi and its environs will have benekatters and hence will be able to serve their customers efficiently, hence realizing great returns in their businesses. This will bring about economic stability and poverty eradication to the slums and other and other marginalized areas. By year four through our production, we seek to have affected the entire population of the cities and major urban centers in Kenya, and will probably b moving to our neighboring East Africa.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We seek to initiate a product research and development for our clients in all our target countries in Africa by year four so that all specs dress certain values of our customers. We also seek to reform most of the Agro processing and agri-business industry through policy reform and research organs. We will hence work with governments and other stakeholders in our targeted markets to ensure that real change is established through food security, poverty eradication and women empowerment.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

My plan is to engage investors after the project picks up for the purposes of mass production to meet the demands and our target. Being an income generating project, it will require finances during its first stage in operation, and at year five, during our expansion stage to other countries, we may go in for grands and loans.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

My project as unique as it is, may have competition, but none measure to the Benekatters because; one, the benekatters are made to suit both the customers needs while addressing both the user's safety, hygiene and efficiency. They are also found two varieties; one that uses power(electricity) and the other powered by solar energy and has an inbuilt battery to save power and use it during the night. We therefore target the entire vegetable vendor market for our low end product and schools, hotels and institutions, for our high end product.
Team

Founding Story

A lady cut a third of her left hand index finger while trying to cut vegetables faster to keep up to the pace of her surging number of demanding customers; she was hospitalized but unfortunately after loosing lots of blood in delays due to lack of enough funds. Her family I am told slept hungry. Most of her customers went back pitting her but disappointed for not getting vegetables for their meal. This lady was trying to earn a living, using an ordinary knife, her safety at risk. Like this woman, the struggle out there is inevitable, to a point of risking their lives just to earn a living. Being one of their customers, I embarked on a journey to establish a solution, Benekatters was born.

Team

Name://Role://Qualifications Givan Molla: Founder and Team Leader, Design and Production- Qualifications in Engineering and Project management Beryl Otieno: Publicity, Research and Marketing - qualifications in Business Management Benson Khanda: Human Resource and Accounts/Finance: Qualifications in Business Management, and Community Development & Resource mobilization
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through media and a friend.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

A2CL; Aid To Change Lives, and 'Beach to School', a unique friendly approach to educate school drop outs especially the beach boys at the Kenyan Coast.
ACRA (K) African Child Right Association- Kenya, a launch pad to quality education for slum children, in which more than 50 children were connected to quality education and their families raised to a stable economic background. With this experience of dealing with slums, I have a unique connection and a wide 'know-how' of the states of lives in this places and a committed passion and unending dedication to change the lives from poverty to economic stability.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We are working with Kenyatta University

Comments

Didas Mzirai's picture

You have a great product, but you may need to repackage your information in a manner that is exciting, detailed with as much information that one may need to know about the business as possible, but in a simple manner!

If the product is affordable, then with the Mama Mbogas, you can have a great market, especially with the solar charged cutter. The name of the product is also not exciting to me. Think about it. even though i know that you have your personal reasons for calling the product that way. If you repackage yourself well, then you're sure that you're on your way to success. Cheers!

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