DataDrivenFinance got a flying start in Kenya thanks to a Norec grant.

“Without Norec, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The grant allowed us to quickly recruit qualified staff and develop our technology much faster than we could have otherwise,” says Hunderi.

This helped DataDrivenFinance move from the pilot phase to the operational scaling phase in record time.

Hunderi is the CEO of DataDrivenFinance AS (DDFinance), which started in Kenya a few years ago. Today, the company has three permanent employees in Kenya, all highly educated and skilled in various fields.

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Recruited Key Personnel Through the Norec Program

When Hunderi learned about the Norec grant, DDFinance was in the pilot phase. They knew what they wanted to develop and how, but they needed to find the right employees and the money to pay them while the company got on its feet.

Finding skilled workers can be challenging when starting a new company, especially abroad.

“When we understood the resources available through Norec, we adapted our work to what we could do together with them. We simply integrated Norec into our work,” says Hunderi.

Work exchange for young people under 35

A Norec grant is used to finance the exchange of young employees.

“We support businesses, organisations, and institutions that want to actively work towards the sustainability goals,” says Tehetena Woldemariam, Head of Business at Norec.

The work exchange occurs between Norway and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Companies can send employees to partner organisations in other countries for six to twelve months.

DDFinance used the grant to recruit three young people from Norway to their office in Nairobi, and three from Kenya to their office in Bergen.

In total, they have managed 17 Norec participants on work exchange between Kenya and Norway.

Head of Section for public institutions and private secotor in Norec, Tehetena Woldemariam.
Head of Section for public institutions and private secotor in Norec, Tehetena Woldemariam

Became a recruitment advantage

Through the collaboration with Norec, they gained important people for the company, especially in technology development/IT, analysis, and communication. The opportunity to work abroad became a recruitment advantage in attracting the best people.

“We discovered that many young, educated, and talented candidates wanted to go on exchanges. The Norec collaboration allowed us to attract amazing talent,” says Hunderi.

Creates better workplaces

Norec has over 60 years of experience facilitating successful international work experiences. They have documented that exchange experience can lead to better work processes, innovation, and a stronger culture of learning and development.

“Employees gain valuable international experience and new perspectives. When they return after the exchange, they bring back new knowledge and skills that benefit the entire organisation,” says Tehetena Woldemariam at Norec.

DDFinance offers cheap life insurance for those who otherwise could not afford one. Kenya was the first market they launched in.

Norec can help the business sector

The Sustainable Development Goals, or the 2030 Agenda, are a global plan to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and stop climate change by 2030. Achieving these goals requires new forms of partnerships between public and private sectors.

Norec can play an essential role here.

“The aim of supporting exchanges in the business sector is for them to learn from other actors and become better equipped to develop solutions to global challenges. The business sector has both the ability and responsibility to contribute to a sustainable future,” says Woldemariam.

A Norec-supported exchange project can be approached in various ways, which can be explored with a Norec advisor during a feasibility study.

Norec played a crucial role

For DDFinance, Norec was a key part of their development. The company has succeeded with microfinance banks in Kenya and Burundi and is working to transfer this success to more microfinance banks in Africa.

“We are currently experiencing great success, and we extend a big thank you to Norec, which was a solid partner when we needed it most in the early stages,” says Hunderi.

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