Meet Kenya’s Falling Walls Finalist 2020: Farida Nzilani

Every day hundreds of young entrepreneurs, both aspiring and experienced, swarm the Hustla MBA social media platform for advice and solutions to the challenges that they are facing – be it thinking about saving money, or debating between opening a vegetable stall or a chips stand.  

Hustla MBA offers the answers.  

It is a digital informal business development course, that uses a peer-to-peer learning approach to showcase the skills necessary to identify a winning idea to start, manage and grow a small enterprise  or hustle. It targets young people between the ages of 18-24 years old, who are out of school and unemployed. 

On the back end of the platform is our own Farida Nzilani, the Executive Producer for the Hustla MBA Programme at Shujaaz inc. and digital expert for Well Made Strategy. Over the years she has reached millions of young men and women in East Africa – she’s young, female and mostly self-taught with a strong sense of understanding the clients that she speaks to.  

Farida’s programme provides young practicing micro-entrepreneurs in Kenya with new skills and new community connections, through digital hubs and social media. 

“We go beyond norms by connecting people to new ideas, networks & communities. This is a project that has evolved from offline physical activities to a mainly digital experience.” says Farida.  

Her work has involved starting new campaigns and building an online presence and personality for them. She’s known for her social media mastery and knack for forecasting digital trends years in advance. She’s also an avid runner and hiker, whose been on Mt. Kilimanjaro twice! 

Despite the challenges presented by 2020, including the global pandemic and economic slump, she has worked to connect young Kenyans online to share about their ideas, motivations, challenges and hopes and cross pollinate those into partnerships among young people or greater insight for individual entrepreneurs – those aspiring and those who’ve already taken the leap. And now the world has taken notice of her work.  

The Hustla MBA Programme has been nominated for Breakthrough of the Year in the category of Digital Education by Falling Walls Remote 2020. What’s special about it you ask? Well, renowned institutions from over 111 countries have nominated more than 900 outstanding projects for the Science Breakthrough of the Year and Farida is one of the finalists. 

The Falling Walls Foundation promotes ground-breaking ideas across borders and disciplines – and brings together pioneers and innovators form all over the world. 

A charity founded in 2010 in Berlin, it serves as a unique international platform for pioneers in academia, industry, politics, the arts, and civil society. In commemoration of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, it focuses on the question: Which are the next walls to fall?  

The nomination is a great milestone for Farida, for Well Made Strategy and her Shujaaz Inc team. They now await the decision of the distinguished jury of the Digital Education. If selected, the Shujaaz Inc. team will be invited to participate in the Winners Sessions, taking place from 4 to 8 November. If they advance to win Breakthrough of the Year in the category, they will be featured on Falling Walls Day, 9 November 2020. 

I am exhilarated that the world gets an opportunity to hear about the amazing Hustla MBA programme. Above all, honoured that our programme got nominated. Crossed fingers, that we hear our name.” 

We’re thrilled for Farida and the entire Shujaaz Inc team, and are so proud to have the pleasure of working with Farida regularly on select WMS projects. 

If interested in participating in this year’s Falling Walls and Berlin Science Week, it will happen virtually from 1-10 November 2020 and is open to all. With over 200 sessions, the programme will bring together some of the most recent breakthroughs and outstanding projects in science and society. Register now at 

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