Pauline has a track record of working for organisations, which are using innovative technology to solve Kenya’s key challenges. After five years with MPesa, Kenya’s celebrated mobile money system, Pauline moved to MKopa, a company making solar affordable for off-grid Kenyans. When asked why MKopa was her next move Pauline says “(Mpesa) hooked me on wanting to do work that made a difference , after 5 years of bringing change into peoples lives, meeting the individuals and hearing how technology has …made a big difference.”
Pauline is very excited about the potential of MKopa for the estimated 5 million houses without access to electricity in the country. Whilst there are many players offering solar products, MKopa is having particular success due to it’s integrated payment model. Customers pay a deposit on their solar home system, using GSM technology they then pay an equivalent of 50 USD cents daily for the rest of the year. Once this is paid off they own the system but if they fail to pay the daily charge their power will be cut off until they can afford to continue.
For much of her role Pauline works in the headquarters in Nairobi but she believes it is important to get out to rural customers and learn how to serve them better. In a recent trip to villages in Kakamega, Western Kenya, Pauline visited previous customers and sat in on sale pitches to village groups. One satisfied customer proudly showed off the MKopa lighting he had purchased and offered Pauline the tin kerosene lamp that he had previously relied on. For Pauline it was a lovely hand crafted memento, but for the owner of a new solar system it represented a poor source of lighting whose fumes contributed to the family’s chest complications. Pauline explained “it’s the little stories like that which make you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and what impact there is.”
Pauline wears a Kiko Romeo dress and Le Collane di Betta earrings.