• Today more than ever, entrepreneurs are bold enough to venture into new territories to create solutions to various needs in the society.

    Many start-ups are launched, some live to see another day, others collapse due to various challenges, but those that triumph over the bottlenecks, are celebrated.

    Here is a list of exciting startups to lookout for this year.

    1. Elewa

    Elewa is a Kiswahili word meaning “to understand”. Elewa was created and launched in September 2015 to answer to students’ needs to revise.

    Elewa is an online resource that provides simplified, visual and insightful information to students, teachers and schools that need to use past national exam papers as part of their revision and to understand concepts.

    Elewa uses the internet as a means of distribution.

    According to the founder Mike Kipkorir, the platform is developed in such a way that it utilizes minimal internet and is accessible across all devices.

    “We have optimized the sort of information we provide to suit our distribution channel so much that access to Elewa utilizes very little internet and is accessible across all devices.”

    2. ShopOfficer

    ShopOfficer recently took home a cash price of $10,000 for emerging 2nd runner up in the SME Empowerment Challenge East and West Africa, an initiative by Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law (HiiL).

    The initiative aimed at identifying and strengthening new projects that can empower start-ups and SMEs in the field of justice, and ShopOfficer happened to be doing just that.

    ShopOfficer, is a platform that empowers SMEs by enabling them to account for every sale real-time and make this information visible to the right staff.

    3. NeoKenya

    This is a Kenya-based start-up and developer of Twiga Fruits; a mobile-based supply platform for Africa’s retail outlets, kiosks, and market stalls. Its main objective is to fix food production issues in Africa.

    How it works: “A vendor orders stock from Twiga, and we reliably show up the next day at their shop with a low-cost, better quality, product than informal markets can provide,” NeoKenya states.

    This application has enabled the customer to get value for money by accessing better quality products and at better rates than in the markets.

    4. CladLight

    Cladlight uses wearable technology to make riding motorcycles safer. The smart jackets could not have come at a better time. The Kenyan government is promoting campaigns on better road use to reduce deaths through road accidents.

    The jackets are equipped with signal transmitters on the back that indicate the direction the rider intends to turn. It is also equipped with GPS tracker for owners who wish to know their motorcycle’s location.

    5. WeFarm

    Wefarm is a social enterprise which has developed a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform to share knowledge among small-scale farmers in rural communities.

    The platform allows users to ask questions via SMS and receive answers from other registered users.

    This mobile-based tech is open to anyone including experts and those who wish to do business with farmers. Targeting various users, the platform is available both in English and Swahili.

    The platform was launched in November 2015.

    6. Shield Finance

    This Kenyan startup provides affordable salary advances to underbanked through the use of proprietary technology and leveraging on mobile money. The underbanked get the advances directly to their phones while Shield Finance generate revenue on interest charged on the advances.

    The FinTech company offers short term advances focused to the borrowing needs of employees while ensuring they do not lend more than 50% of an employee’s net salary.