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Chatbot technology for small businesses post-pandemic recovery

By Elly Gitau
Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
Arifu CEO and co-founder Craig Heintzman
In summary

Smart chatbot Arifu has partnered with technology firm Praekelt.Org to promote the economic recovery of 500,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

The two entities, with support from Google. org have created a suite of free interactive training and information to help MSMEs hit hard by Covid-19 navigate challenges to their business, stay up to date on regulatory changes, and access products and services that will support their recovery.

“We’re proud to join forces with Google.org, Praekelt.Org and Turn.io to play a part in supporting the economic recovery of people impacted by this global pandemic. Governments, NGOs, and companies can now easily support the employment of job seekers and resilience of small businesses in their communities with this free chatbot-based learning content,” says Arifu CEO and co-founder Craig Heintzman.

It will be available on Arifu’s Open Marketplace, accessible using interactive SMS and WhatsApp through an integration with Turn. io, an organisation that helps social impact organisations have chat-based personal, guided conversations.

MSMEs can access content by sending SME to 22744 on SMS or on Whatsapp +254 735 040081 in Kenya.

“We are excited to be using our Turn.io technology to provide actionable resources and training to learners and SMMEs across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa during this challenging time,” adds Praekelt.org and Turn.io founder Gustav Praekelt.

Google.org Sub-Saharan Africa lead Liza Belozerova said, “We are pleased to support Praekelt.org and Arifu joining efforts and together accelerating tech solutions helping MSMEs through economic recovery. We believe accessing information at no cost will be critical for beneficiaries to make informed decisions and sustain economic livelihoods.”

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