According to the International Labour Organization, in 2021 unemployment rate in Kenya increased to 6.6 per cent. A significant percentage of this comprised of youth and, women. Notably, 67 per cent of the disabled population lives in poverty.
To address this challenge, Kenyan tech firm StepWise has announced the launch of its Software Development Center, ‘Zalda’ to enable and promote inclusion and socio-economic participation, of the underserved communities.
According to the company which focuses on ICT Training and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Zalda is an outgrowth of StepWise’s Daproim Africa (BPO) and Zalego Academy, (ICT Training and Capacity Building).
Through, its subsidiaries, StepWise has employed over 1000 people with disabilities, (over-time), raised $3 Million in total income for marginalised communities, trained over 12000 youth, and offered scholarships to over 1700 underprivileged youth.
Using technology the firm trains and equips persons from historically underserved communities, particularly, the youth, women, and Persons with Disabilities with skills to compete and succeed in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“One sure way we can maintain and improve the social and –economic independence for the underserved, is by promoting a rich entrepreneurial culture that will create jobs, grow the economy and uplift the standards of living,” says Laura Chite, Group Chief Commercial Officer, StepWise.
“In fact, SMEs account for most businesses in Kenya and are key contributors to job creation and economic development”. She adds.
Zalda has developed cloud-based solutions to help small businesses facilitate cross-collaboration, automate processes, and facilitate remote working and learning. These include Petty Cash Management System, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), NikkoWorkx designed to remotely manage teams of outsourcing professionals and an e-Learning Management System which has so far delivered Software Development Training to over 2500 students in Africa.