Justice Tech: ShopOfficer receives 10,000 USD grant from HiiL Innovating Justice
We have all had instances where technology has been used to explore and solve contemporary issues. Many positive forms of interaction have also stemmed from the digital age. Small companies, startups have increasingly started to soak up technological innovations and approaches to solving problems affecting people in the society.
From mobile health, educational apps, business and microfinance apps, this digital advancements have and continue to greatly benefit a number of companies, giving them a chance to create lasting change and solution as well as offer justice. This is the case with Timothy Mwirabua, a 25 year developer from Nairobi, until last year did not know his innovation could be of great impact. He was also among the three startups from Africa to receive a grant of 10,000 USD plus acceleration support from HiiL Innovating Justice and the Ford Foundation.
Timothy has created ShopOfficer, an accounting tool to solve the biggest obstacles to SME growth in the region: fraud and mismanagement. SMEs account for the vast majority of private-sector employment throughout the world, also fail at a rate of two thirds due to fraud and mismanagement.
The ShopOfficer smartphone app enables businesses to track their sales keeping track of all transactions an attendant or waiter handles and also provides a repository which management can use to supervise all transactions attendants or waiters in a business in real-time.
According to Timothy, he was determined to provide service-oriented SMEs with an easy-to-use and affordable solution after watching her mother’s dreams die with a failed restaurant. This is what prompted him to develop the ShopOfficer App.
Despite ShopOfficer’s enormous potential, Timothy struggled to get seed investment for his innovation. More importantly, he was concerned that unscrupulous people would snatch this idea from him, A fear which most technology innovators are grappling with due to intellectual Property laws in Kenya being weak.
HiiL Innovating Justice, together with the Ford Foundation are providing opportunities for innovators in Africa to grow their ideas. In 2015, HiiL Innovating Justice dedicated 70,000 USD to support 3 African start-ups that addressed barriers to SME growth in the region and ShopOfficer was among them.
Timothy says ShopOfficer will come with more features including SMS engagement with your customers, social media integration, POS integration, better analytics and metrics about your local market