Frederick Ouko, a 34-year old Kenyan, created a digital tool to help foster a greater diversity in the Kenyan workplace.
According to The Guardian, Frederick Ouko came up with a way to reach companies who might want to diversify their labour pool after being repeatedly turned away from employment due to his wheelchair.
“There is a general notion that if you’re disabled you don’t need to work because your family look after you or you’re on government benefits. Not in their wildest dreams would an employer think you want to work and that you may be qualified,” said Frederick to The Guardian.
So he began to develop an online platform to match job seekers with employers. This platform called Riziki Source, which means “livelihood” in Swahili, allows users to input their qualifications, skill set, location and disability which in turn are matched with potential job providers.
Businesses only get to see the users’ qualifications and skillset but not their CVs. If an employer expresses interest in a candidate, they connect through Ouko and his team.
Having been live for six months, Riziki Source helped 10 job seekers to find jobs in the hotel, IT, accounting and software sectors. Recently shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa prize for engineering innovation, the platform was provided by Kenya’s department of labour with $30,000 (£23,800) in funding.
“We are important resources that our countries haven’t bothered investing in,” Frederick says. “Can we normalise the challenges, and be given an opportunity that we are qualified for, whether or not we’re disabled?”
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