By Ojay Greene Media Team
On the 8th of November, our founder and managing director was invited to the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (254 Elm St., 3rd Floor) Where she took time to share her story at “The Yale Women Innovators Series.”
By opening up to share the underlying motivation that led her to start up her company. She wanted to inspire Yale women students, alumni, faculty and staff interested in entrepreneurship and innovation at any level with the message that they have it in them to make a meaningful difference in their societies.
Yvette was deeply concerned about the high levels of poverty and helplessness among a large part of the population in her country Kenya and many other countries in her continent sub Saharan Africa. She came to this realization when she launched her career into the Pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative. Growing up in a middle class home in Nairobi, she had been shielded from a close encounter of the realities faced by poverty, more that 50% of the population did not have the means to access even basic medication, she realized that if this trend were to continue, untold suffering and avoidable deaths would take over the already ailing healthcare sector. It was only those who had money that were able to access high quality healthcare. She realized that she had to do something, but what????
After some observation, research and inspiration from an unlikely source, she decided to explore the world of farming to assess its potential to increase income levels for herself. She was an executive by day and a farmer by night. But even in her farming venture, she now had the chance to interact closely with more levels of poverty. A family that had access to 17 acres of land and unlimited water for irrigation leased some of their land to her, yet, a woman from that household depended on her to give them handouts the most common one being an equivalent of half a dollar to buy milk for her child. This woman played a significant role in being the inspiration to the formation of Ojay Greene – A tech enabled agribusiness with a social mission – “to increase the income of smallholder farmers,” not just in Kenya but in Sub Saharan Africa.
Her company, Ojay Greene, solves a two-fold problem: to increase the income of farmers and create a seamless supply chain for crops. The company works with smallholder farmer groups using agribusiness models that improve food production and quality.
The enterprise tapped into the mobile money transfer system that pervades Kenya and realized mobile phones are an effective medium for mass communication to farmers. Despite several barriers, the company developed this communication platform and increased productivity
“It’s been a journey of solving problems,” she said.
The mobile communication tool has potential to spread to large farming communities in Nigeria and Ethiopia. It is an interactive system that permits live tracking of farming progress, allowing farmers to solve complex problems over the phone and connecting these communities with on-call assistance.
Ondachi is now looking to open up possibilities within impoverished communities for women and girls who are culturally oppressed at every level. Boys are educated and girls are married off, Ondachi explains, restricting the potential of young girls born into such families.