Nyumbani featured on ISIS blog

In the wake of our first seed funding from Ashoka, the Sauder School of Business at UBC has chosen to profile Nyumbani and document our progress on its blog as well. We are grateful for the support and exposure, and thanks to Sauder also for co-sponsoring the event in November. Stay tuned.

Victory at Ashoka

“How would you change your community?”

Ashoka’s Youth Venture challenges young social entrepreneurs to answer this question in innovative ways. On Wednesday November 23rd, Nyumbani made its first ever pitch to a panel of judges, to highlight our vision for community change. Nyumbani SocEnt was one of ten teams presenting from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University (of which six were funded), and there were some incredibly creative venture ideas, ranging from compost collection for businesses, to improving employment rates in the autistic community. Ashoka currently operates in over 70 countries and supports the work of over 2,000 social entrepreneurs, elected as Ashoka Fellows. Nyumbani now has the privilege of leveraging the support of this vast community.

This $1,000 prize represents the first grant obtained by Nyumbani SocEnt, and we were the only team representing UBC to win a prize. The prize will cover the entire cost of a brand new TVs Star Motorbike, which will be used both as a taxi by one of the youth to generate additional income, and to reduce the burden of transporting food for the pigs from town by bicycle.

Panelists included:

Tom Lawrence
Professor, W.J. VanDusen Professor of Management
Simon Fraser University

Elisha Muskat
Executive Director
Ashoka Canada

John Richardson
Ashoka Fellow and Founder, Pivot Legal Society
Pivot Legal Society

James Tansey
Executive Director, ISIS Research Centre; Associate Professor and Chair in Business Ethics and the Sauder School of Business
University of British Columbia

Shannon Vanderwoerd
District Manager
Starbucks Coffee Canada

Jenna and Matt, first and second on the left, with the other winning teams

We have 8 new curly-tailed friends…

On Monday, November 21st, 2011, one of our pigs gave birth to 8 healthy piglets, the first time one of our animals has reproduced. We prepared in advance by subdividing the current space to give the new family some privacy. The piglets will be given calcium and will be de-wormed within the week. And of course, our food bill is about to get a lot bigger…


Construction Slideshow

Breaking Ground
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Nyumbani: an experiment in social entrepreneurship

The exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope.

– ancient Greek definition of happiness


Haba na haba hujaza kibaba.

– Swahili Proverb: Little by little fills the measure.

Here we are at the beginning. For now we have but a few words. Let our efforts take us on a thoughtful and intrepid journey outwards, and on the even more important and ambitious journey inwards, and let us think where that extends beyond all of us. Check back here for updates on the process and progress as the project unfolds.


Andrew Mwangi
David Wanjohi
Matt Whiteman