Kate Kiguru from Kenya first met Microsoft 4Afrika in 2014, when she was awarded with an innovation grant. How has her start-up grown since then? We celebrate her this Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
When Kate Kiguru first developed a mobile app to help security firms manage their mobile employees in 2011, she perhaps didn’t predict just how relevant her solution would be for other industries years later.
With advances in mobile technology and cloud computing, more and more staff are starting to work remotely. In fact, by 2022, an estimated 42.5% of the global workforce will be mobile – which is an increase of 870 million from 2010.
With Kate’s solution, Akida, employees can check in remotely, send field reports and time trackers, and receive notifications. This takes the headache away for employers who have to supervise and manage a mobile workforce, as they can now access all this information easily in real-time and gain insights.
We first met Kate back in 2014, when she was awarded with a 4Afrika innovation grant to help her develop and scale her solutions. In just two years, Kate has expanded her business across Africa and now supports clients from the marketing to automotive industries, as well as NGOs.
In just two years, you’ve managed to grow Ukall so successfully. Exactly how has it grown since 2014?
Ukall has continued to expand and enhance the features and functionality of our two core products Upay and Akida. We’ve integrated Microsoft Power BI for richer analytics and dashboards, which has taken the platform to a new level and enhanced our service offering. Deployment of Akida has now grown from two countries on the African continent to seven.
You recently returned from a trip to the Microsoft campus in Redmond? Can you tell us about your experience?
During my visit to Microsoft at Redmond, I met and shared with various teams and individuals, including designers, developers and the Power BI team. I was fortunate to engage with the "Africans in Microsoft" engineering network and establish permanent relationships. Everyone was extraordinarily helpful in terms of giving feedback on Akida, and undertaking to provide resources and support required for further development.
How has your journey as a female entrepreneur been?
Incredible. I would do this all over again. It's been an amazing journey!
I don't believe being female has presented me with any lesser opportunities, despite the relatively small number of female entrepreneurs in the tech space. I have learnt and developed in so many areas of my life which I could never have imagined and had amazing opportunities to travel the world to meet and learn from fellow techprenuers. I have become a more rounded business leader, mentoring and encouraging my team players to strive to reach greater heights. I have grown my own self-belief and confidence such that I can now realistically pronounce Ukall's vision to become a Global Leader
in the design and development of mobile and web technology platforms.