Elkanah is a web designer from Kawangware, one of the informal settlements in Nairobi. In 2016, he started DoubleServe to train youth in web design, helping them acquire necessary skills to find jobs. Elkanah grew up living in an informal settlement in Kericho. After finishing high school in 2006, he decided to come to Nairobi to look for a job, a feit he found much more difficult than expected. He then joined college studying IT but wasn't able to finish school because he didn't have enough money for the school fees. After working in several odd jobs, he was able to join college again since he earned money as a web designer, which allowed him to pay for his school fees. Because of his own experience, Elkanah is passionate about training youth from the informal settlements to help them identify their passion and improve their personal situation. DoubleServe is not only a place where youth learns more about IT and web design but also a place they can receive mentorship, coaching and personal development.
At the moment, eleven students are being trained at DoubleServe on a daily basis. As a first step, they are trained in MS Office before moving to a more specialised program about web design. Currently there are eight students who joined the second part of the program. For his students to get practical practice, Elkanah is engaging with companies to acquire them as clients for DoubleServe. For the ones who stop after the basic training, Elkanah tries to connect them with companies which are more suitable for them. The main challenge DoubleServe faces at the moment is the consistency of the students since the training is free of charge for them. He is creating a model whereby his students learn the web design skills for free but then join his company and work off the training costs through lower salaries when starting.
Elkanah was part of Somo’s Cohort 4. He especially benefitted from the financial management training and how to plan and track daily business activities. After finishing the training at Somo, DoubleServe got officially licensed as a business. At the moment Elkanah is providing the training in Kibera but he wishes to open a branch in his home area of Kawangware at the beginning of 2018. In three years, he envisions DoubleServe as an established company for web design and youth training and mentorship at the same time.