Technology proves to be a powerful tool to help solve woman issues as Kenya’s GBC emerges winner of WVEF Tech Challenge

Kenya’s Greenbell Communications has been chosen winner of the 2015 WVEF Tech Challenge a joint initiative between the International Trade Centre (ITC), Google and CI&T. The winning bid by the GBC team was chosen following the launch of the Tech Challenge in July, which saw more than 300 companies enter the competition. Web and app developers were asked to develop a digital solution that will support an ITC initiative launched on 1 September to connect one million women entrepreneurs to markets by 2020.

The GBC team created a Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum application that aims to connect women entrepreneurs across the world. The GBC team consisted of Kenneth Muturi, Michael Buluma, Rose Maghas, Anastacia Ndunge, Eric Muthomi and Catherine Njau.

ITC, Google and CI&T will in the coming months work closely with the winner of the tech challenge, the GBC team from Kenya, to further develop and launch the final product in 2015. In addition, the GBC were invited to present the project at the upcoming World Export Development Forum, which will be held in Doha, Qatar, on 20-21 October.

The announcement was made during the closing ceremony at the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WEVF), held in São Paulo, Brazil, in partnership with Apex-Brasil where ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘This is the first time that ITC has held such a tech challenge. It has confirmed that the innovative pool is a deep one and that technological platforms can be used to facilitate problems of access and connection that many female entrepreneurs face. All of the finalists showed an appreciation for these constraints and build solutions that economically empower the women in our network to grow through trade.’

Representing the GBC team in São Paulo, Catherine Njau, said: ‘We didn’t know what we were doing at first. It was a scary experience, but my boss pushed us to do it. We decided not to not stop until it worked and we needed the help of everyone on the team.’

The runners-up

Women on Business | Costa Rica 

The Women on Business team developed a website that allows entrepreneurs to offer their products and services for small and medium-sized companies, as well as for large corporation’s sizes. Rita Rivera, an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in the IT sector, led the team. When Rita received the news that she had passed to the second phase of the Tech Challenge, she enlisted the help of a team of developers David Sanche Alban, Katherine, Serrano Gamboa and Aura Herrera Solis to work on the project.

The WomenSupply App | Brazil 

The WomenSupply App is an application in which an entrepreneur can register her business using filter options to simplify the way that companies need to go to find the service they need. The WomenSupply App team was led by Mary Camila from Curitiba, Brazil, with the support of Nathan Pedroso and Silvia Amelia.

The Market Matcher | Thailand

The Market Matcher developed a website that allows women-owned businesses to sell their products using a text-analysis technology that recommend products and services for both buyers and sellers registered on the site. The Market Matcher team consisted of Bangkok-based Anugoon Leelphattarakij, an IT consultant, and his brother Pairote, an entrepreneur.

Empowerit | Brazil

The Empowerit team developed a digital platform to facilitate the buying and selling of products or services between businesswomen. The app includes features for direct chats, videos and profiles, and set out to use technology to reach entrepreneurs in rural areas.  The Empowerit team was led by Brenda Miranda from Cabo Frio, Brazil, who called on the support of developer friends Marcela Alves, Vini Alkin, Wallacy Cleyton, and Natalí Araújo, Belford Roxo.



Winfred Kuria854 Posts

Winfred Kuria is a self-constituted web content writer in charge of Tech News and Events Publicity at She will communicate in the simplest way possible with an aim of changing the world one mind at a time.


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