Empowering greatness in the world's most underserved areas.
Empowering greatness in the world's most underserved areas.
We are called the SOMO project because we believe that talent is widely distributed. Visionary entrepreneurs exists in informal settlements around the world. Their lessons and learnings are typically overlooked in the development initiaves
Somo is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and pledges that 100% of donations go to funding our entrepreneurs.
The Somo Project identifies, trains and mentors entrepreneurs looking to drive social change by building enterprises in their own low-income urban communities.
We invest in social entrepreneurs and provide the training and the tools to help them build enterprises that change their communities from within.By investing in the right people, we help break the cycle of poverty and help bring long-term stability to urban slum areas.
Amelia is co-founder and executive director of the Somo Project. She conceived of Somo while working summers in a school in Kibera, and launched operations and the initial training cohort while still a student at University of California, Berkeley. After graduating with a concentration in development studies and global poverty, she moved to Nairobi full-time in 2016. Her passion for justice and economic opportunity for under-resourced populations dates back to her youth advocating for women’s rights and participating in homeless relief missions on the streets of New York City.
Temesi runs Somo's market access programs, helping our entrepreneurs reach additional markets outside of their localities. Previously she co-founded of Incipio, an organization seeking to ensure reduced rate of recividism by ensuring smooth transition of ex- offenders into the society.Born and raised in Mumias, Western Kenya. Temesi studied Penal law and administration at Moi University. Temesi is passionate about poverty eradication and creating sustainable growth in undeserved areas.
Loreen’s social impact journey began in 2013 while she was still a first-year student and chose to volunteer at Nafisika Trust, which runs prison rehabilitation programs in Kenya. She developed a passion for creating better and sustainable communities and was served four years as Programs Coordinator at Nafisika Trust. She was awarded an Associate fellow for The Royal Commonwealth Society in 2016, holds a degree in Sociology and Psychology, Post-graduate certificate in Social Innovation Management from Amani Institute and is currently pursing a Masters of Arts in Gender and Development Studies.
Irene grew up in Kibera, and witnessed first-hand the immense amount of aid flowing into her community that had very little long-term impact. With a passion for economic empowerment, she pursued a degree at Egerton University, studying economics and history. She worked as an Mpesa sales agent, boosting sales in her region by 70%, and at the national cohesion and integration commission, crafting plans for a cohesive and peaceful coexistence within Kenya.
Justus was born and raised in Githurai, an informal settlement on the eastern outskirts of Nairobi. After receiving a journalism degree at the Technical University of Kenya, Justus looked to find a way to give back to his community. With a passion for photographing daily life in his community, he started Gizzim, an organization that teaches refugee and street children the art of photography, giving them a way to both tell their own stories and earn a living.
Steven was born and raised in Kibera, and experienced firsthand the inadequate supply and distribution of water in the community. He started working on creating a business focused on water – working on a solution that is both affordable and sustainable long-term.
After graduating Somo training in 2016, he founded WaterMark Springs. He has also joined Somo as a trainer, sharing his passion for economics and building enterprises.
Joshua was born and raised in the Kibera slums, where he has witnessed his community suffer from diseases like cholera, typhoid, high blood pressure and even loss of lives due to inability to access healthy meals affordably. He started Nutrition Palace, a participant in Somo’s pilot training cohort, as a healthy alternative to the unhealthy, unhygienic offerings of most food kiosks in Kibera. Joshua is also the co-founder of K-Shoes, a social enterprise that partners with skilled artisans from Nairobi’s informal settlements to produce customized footwear, targeting local and international markets and re-investing in the community. Joshua leads Somo’s efforts working with the Kibera community, and supports trainings, outreach and local fundraising initiatives.
Juliet Nila runs Somo's social media and communications, helping us tell the amazing stories of the entrepreneurs we work with.
She studied Media and Communication in Moi University, Eldoret. Previously, she worked as a reporter at The Star Newspaper Ltd. She then developed an interest in digital marketing through Yusudi, a company that does job placement training.
Juliet is passionate about women and youth empowerment, especially through entrepreneurship. She believes through entrepreneurship, the high rate of unemployment in Kenya can be ameliorated.
Wilkister is Somo’s Korogocho Hub Administrator. She facilitates activities in Korogocho as well as build and maintain Somo’s relationship with the community at large. She also trains our social entrepreneurs.
Wilkister holds a degree in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from Kenyatta University. She previously worked with Shamiriveg, a startup company dealing with procuring, packaging, branding and delivery of vegetables, fruits, and dairy products to their customers.
Wilkister is most fulfilled when helping people to succeed in their business plans. Her vision and ability to nurture relationships lead to long-term solutions and success.
Imelda is a Sales Associate at Somo. She runs Somo’s Pop Up Shop, where she sell and markets products from entrepreneurs we partner with.
She has always been passionate about sales. Her best time in sales is when she participated in a Blueband promotional sale and in return, her son’s school, Tenderlings won a school bus. She believes sales keeps her on toes to produce the best results.
Sophie is a business consultant, helping to advise Somo entrepreneurs and support program improvements. She joins Somo with a background in corporate social responsibility, most recently working as a waste analyst for Unilever North America where she combined her passion for sustainability with her penchant for data analytics to reduce Unilever’s supply chain waste. Prior to Unilever, Sophie cultivated her interest in developing economies and sustainable growth at Columbia University where she majored in sustainable development with a concentration in business.
Kagure Wamunyu currently works as the Senior Director in Strategy for East Africa for Bridge International Schools, a social enterprise that seeks to provide access to quality education to the low income in Africa and Asia. In her role she focuses on Policy and Government Relations, Partnerships, and PR. She is very passionate about education and its ability to transform people's lives. Previously, Kagure served as the country manager for Uber in Kenya where she joined company right after launch and grew it to a major transportation option in Nairobi. Kagure Wamunyu is currently pursuing a part-time PhD at University of Oxford. She holds a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley, a BSC in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State and a BA in Mathematics from Meredith College.
Edel is a Consultant at Dalberg Advisors, providing strategic advice to social impact initiatives in Africa with a focus on education and youth employment projects. Previous to joining Dalberg, Edel was a Research Fellow at IBM Research Africa and has worked with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). Edel has a BSc from Strathmore University.
George is a co-founder of the Somo Project, and the founder of Raba Capital, an investment firm focused on partnering with bold thinking entrepreneurs in emerging markets. He was previously a Managing Director at Glynn Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, an associate at Goldman Sachs and an enterprise technology software strategist at General Electric. George has a BS from the University of Connecticut.
Eskor is the founder of Marigold Investments, a London based real estate company. Prior to founding Marigold, Eskor was with BizCorp, a consulting firm focused on working with small and medium sized enterprises in Kenya and prior was an investment advisor at BestInvest in London. Eskor has an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.
Sebastian is a portfolio manager at Genesis Investment Management where he is focused on investments in India, Indonesia, and Russia. Prior to Genesis, Sebastian was a research analyst at Praesidium Investment Management and prior an analyst at Wachovia Securities. Sebastian has an MBA from Columbia Business School and degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Tom was most recently CEO of Dstillery, a machine-learning-based data analytics company. Prior to Dstillery, Tom was a director at Google where he pioneered new uses of Google data for ad analytics. Previously, he was a venture partner at Insight Ventures, CEO of Deja.com, the original media chief for Starwave (creators of ESPN.com, NFL.com, ABCnews.com and NBA.com), and founding publisher of Spy magazine. He has a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.
Invest today. Grow tomorrow.
Invest today. Grow tomorrow.