Nobel Peace Prize laureate and President of the Grameen Foundation – Professor Muhammad Yunus, has challenged startups in the country to use technology in addressing social and economic challenges. Yunus who is a global leader in microcredit, believes that technology could play a key role in reducing poverty, food insecurity, climate change, as well as insecurity.

During a recent Hackathon event hosted in partnership with Moringa School, Professor Yunus spoke about the importance of fixing the systems and policies that contribute to poverty, rather than blaming the poor themselves. Yunus emphasized the potential for technology to be a major tool in this effort.

The Hackathon, themed “Technology for Impactful Change,” focused on promoting collaboration and technology to develop innovative, impact-based solutions. Several Kenyan tech companies, including Chiro, Kambare, Kilimo Africa, and Rafiki Carbon, pitched solutions to eliminate food insecurity and improve waste management.

The winning solution came from Kilimo Africa, a company that provides training and consulting services to farmers, including soil testing, farm management training, and farm budgeting. The judges praised Kilimo Africa’s scalable business model and its potential for positive impact on farmers and the ecosystem. Kilimo Africa will receive mentorship from Yunus Social Business to refine its business model and position it for funding.

Former Makueni County Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana commended Professor Yunus’ grassroots economic approach. He noted that he had attempted to implement the Grameen model of microfinancing in Makueni, but faced legal and licensing barriers. He acknowledges that such a model will help alleviate poverty and improve the lives of Kenyans.