Hilda Moraa, a graduate at Strathmore University converted her fourth-year project into a startup which she sold for Ksh166 million ($1.7 million) in 2015. Moraa graduated in 2011 with a degree in Business Information Technology and for the four years afterwards, the Obama Foundation fellow spent most of her time building a company known as Weza Tele, a mobile solution firm in the distribution, supply chain and financial services.
“The idea for the project came to me when I was working as a data analyst at a large global beverage and distribution company.
In between the years, Moraa and another group had attempted to innovate a product known as “MyOrder” which failed. Weza Tele won the top prize at the 2011 Mobile BootCamp and in 2015 financial firm AFB purchased it for Ksh166 million. Moraa was then a 26-year-old entrepreneur.
“I led the entire process from negotiations and closing of the deal including ensuring the smooth transition of WezaTele’s tech team integrating with Jumo’s global teams.
“My role in this acquisition also involved designing the strategy of new channel innovations in the SME space as well as identifying the right strategic partners including the right external expertise i.e. legal, tax and compliance needed to successfully close the deal,” she recalled.
During the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 held in Nairobi and graced by the US 44th President Barrack Obama, Moraa stated she declined offers to join Oxford University and work at Google to pursue her startup ideas.
Among her achievements are being named as one of the 50, Africa’s most promising innovators by Global Shaker in 2020, one of the Quartz Africa top 30 innovators in Africa in 2018 and Kenyan’s among Forbes 30 Most Promising Young African Entrepreneurs of 2016. In April 2020, the Loreto Limuru High School alumnus was appointed to the Covid-19 ICT & Innovations Advisory Committee for Kenya.
Moraa currently is the CEO of Pezesha, a digital financial ecosystem connecting and empowering the underserved in Africa through its robust value chain that entails financial education, credit decisions and connecting MSMEs with affordable financing.
“As the Founder, I am responsible for overall strategy, innovations, talent acquisitions, resource management, partnerships and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction,” she states on her LinkedIn page.
This article was written by John Mbati and was first published by Kenyans.co.ke here.