This Hult Entrepreneur’s Social Enterprise Is Cleaning Up Uganda’s Informal Economy
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban development comes at a heavy price.
In Kampala, Uganda, a proliferation of street vendors are unregistered and do not pay tax, working in an informal, illegal economy. Large urban areas are also notoriously-polluted, with street vendors working around fire hazards and breathing in harmful fumes – particularly charcoal smoke – on a daily basis.
For Nataliey Bitature, this was a problem with a solution. With her co-founders and fellow Master’s of Social Entrepreneurship students at Hult International Business School in San Francisco, Manon Lavaud and Keisuke Kubota, they developed Musana Carts.
A portable street vending cart with clean cooking facilities powered by solar energy, their product means that Ugandan micro-vendors no longer have to rely on cheap, dirty fuels. It’s also a way for them to escape the informal economy by registering their income, while employing a host of manufacturers, designers, engineers and technicians to work on the vending carts themselves.
Now at Hult’s Boston Campus, they’re preparing themselves for the final of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition. Providing Musana Carts wins, $1 million in seed capital will enable their business to grow.