• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Meet Founder of Award-winning Agri-fintech Start-up ‘Imfuyo Usajili’


Dec 19, 2022
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Bernard Wanjohi Njathi, 34, is the founder of Imfuyo Usajili, an award-winning tech-enabled start-up that uses technology to help livestock farmers create credible profiles which make them attractive and trustworthy to financial institutions so that they can access financial support.

Which was your dream career?
I wanted to become a doctor or a surgeon so that I could help others, but this changed over time as I grew up because of the many challenges I faced.  I often lacked school fees and couldn’t always afford regular meals. In Africa, resources are limited and exposure is hard to get, and that can easily limit a child’s vision and development.

How and why did you start your company?

My business is all about helping farmers in emerging markets access capital. We run a start-up called Imfuyo Usajili which translates to livestock registration. In Kenya, many farmers sell off their livestock just to afford basic needs such as medical expenses, school fees and capital. This is because the farmers lack employment and credit records.
This is why I joined hands with a few individuals to start Imfuyo Usajili.

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Over the last two years we have worked with various stakeholders in the livestock value chain and we continuously improve our ways of working so that we achieve our goal. The company has won two awards this year – the first one being the Glovo Esade Tech-based Competition, and the Small Business Awards in the category of Agri-tech, which we won in the United Kingdom.

What does your business entail?

Ours is what you call an impact driven social community engine. We are responsible for collecting farmers’ livestock data, and using that data to solve various challenges that farmers face. We specialise in the usage of technology and partnerships to collect and update the data.

We also work with financial organisations such as insurance companies and financial institutions to make sure that farmers are able to access financial services such as livestock insurance and loans. We are firm believers that with data, technology and the right partnerships, we can help farmers, financial institutions and insurance companies make informed decisions.

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What qualifications does one require to start such a business?

Apart from my academic background in business administration, I have worked with various technology companies. People who have done data entry and who know how to mine and analyse data will also have an upper hand in this job.

Who are your mentors? From where do you draw your inspiration?

Elon Musk. I admire him because he believes in a different way of running business, and is always ready to make sacrifices in pursuit of results. My inspiration mainly comes from solving complex challenges and impacting lives of farmers. Many farmers have no employment and credit records, and this hinders them from getting loans and financial aid, which limits their growth.

What challenges do you have to deal with in your work?

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The first challenge is the absence of a national animal registry. We don’t have a central livestock data collection and management system, and we also lack proper laws and policies.

The other challenge is that the prevalence of technology in rural areas is poor. Some villages have no internet connectivity. Finally, many financial institutions shy away from issuing loans to livestock farmers, so there is need for a national dialogue to address this important need.

How is your knowledge in business administration relevant to your job?

It enables me to run the organisation as both an administrator and an entrepreneur. The knowledge on team management, company management, funds management, business development and partnerships are relevant in my current job.

How do you unwind?

I like reading about businesses and comparing what other markets are doing globally.

The post Meet Founder of Award-winning Agri-fintech Start-up ‘Imfuyo Usajili’ appeared first on Nairobi Wire.

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