NADAYAR ENEGESI, H’20
Bringing the convenience of room service to homes all over Africa
Nadayar Enegesi H’20 hails from Lagos, the most populous city in Nigeria and on the African Continent with the highest GDP in Africa. When Enegesi, a Computer Science and Business degree graduate from the University of Waterloo, Canada, returned to live in his hometown in 2014, he was exposed to the inefficiencies of living there. He was told he needed to get domestic help to assist him with his daily household chores, but was concerned that the standard of living for domestic help was poor with many very badly treated by their employers. Having lived in Lagos for most of his life, he was familiar with a poor service culture, but never thought there was anything he could do about it. On his return, he saw an opportunity to develop a high-end, tech enabled solution to replace traditional domestic help and manage regular maintenance and repairs. He could offer customers peace of mind through an automatic, reliable and quality service while also providing safe and appropriately rewarded employment opportunities.
“I don’t really think about things like personal motivation. I just have an image of what the world should look like and every day I do something that gets me closer to seeing that image materialise.”
Innovating to make life easier and better across the continent
THE CHALLENGE: Africa spends about $1trillion each year on home services yet, in countries like Nigeria, homeowners still find doing these chores for themselves stressful, in addition to the challenge of finding reliable professionals that don’t need to be supervised. A number of busy professionals, especially women, hire a live-in domestic to do their household chores. The problem is that many are not professionally trained and do not deliver quality work. More importantly, many are victims of modern slavery/human trafficking. There is also the safety issue of having a ‘stranger’ in your home who has not been vetted. With over 20 million people tightly packed in a small area, Lagos State can be quite daunting for millennials who cannot afford to live comfortably. Enegesi recognised an opportunity to offer a tech-enabled, trusted home concierge service for busy Africans that includes meal preparation, laundry, home cleaning and repairs on a recurring schedule. The high-end and highly innovative service would eliminate the chores, tedium and poor service that plagues busy professionals.
THE PROCESS: When work on Eden started, Enegesi said they envisioned logistics would be a major challenge because of the structure of Lagos, but tech took care of that problem. Within the first two weeks, his team had created an algorithm to manage all their logistics. The model was not to work directly with artisans as there is usually limited professionalism, but rather to employ staff or what the team at Eden refer to as ‘Gardeners’ using a very strict selection criteria. This includes reference checks, certification and industry level compliance, liability insurance in the event of damage to a client’s property, and the capacity to manage numerous jobs. All Eden’s Gardeners are National Youth Service Corps members. Enegesi says that the quality assurance process is what differentiates the company from others that merely provide the services. With great service culture becoming the norm on the continent and wanting to offer better economic outcomes for service providers, Eden collaborates with existing service providers who are rigorously screened to assure subscribers of their reliability and quality. Ultimately, the net quality of their service is directly related to the net quality of their service providers. The start-up offers the Eden Guarantee to all its customers with the company bearing the full cost of theft, damage or any loss that occurs when a Gardener is carrying out Eden-approved tasks. In a nutshell, Eden is creating new cultures, systems and processes to ensure that people who provide services are rewarded properly and the people who require those services receive the highest quality possible.
THE RESULTS: Eden was launched in September 2019 and currently has over 200 paying customers. Initially, the business model was a pay-per-use service for the first two months but, after dealing with some payment defaults and collection issues, they pivoted to a subscription model, which is now working well. Eden charges $30/month per customer and an additional surcharge depending on the specific service the customer needs. Subscribers are able to monitor the status of the chores on the Eden app and leave feedback where necessary. On expansion and future plans, Enegesi said Eden’s goal is to make life easier and better across the continent and plans on expanding into other African countries in the near future. His dream is to eventually build urban settlements on the continent where infrastructure works and residents have economic mobility.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EDEN
Eden is a human-powered, tech-enabled service that puts your household chores on autopilot.
Deeply passionate about solving problems in Africa
ABOUT NADAYAR ENEGESI
Nadayar left Lagos, Nigeria in 2008 to complete a BCS Computer Science (Honors) degree at the University of Waterloo, Canada where he received the University of Waterloo’s President’s Scholarship. After many years of tech-related work throughout his years of study, in 2014, he co-founded Andela, a company that trains African developers and hires them out to global tech companies. After founding Andela, he began to tap into the possibilities of an Africa that is led by well-intentioned and competent people. Identifying a gap in the market for a highly innovative, tech-enabled and quality alternative to the traditional domestic help model, he founded Eden in 2019.
I AM A HARAMBEAN
Nadayar views Harambe as an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs and to share advice and moral support for the start-ups they are building.
“The Alliance is a group of competent entrepreneurs who aim to build a better future for black people and the world and I gladly offer my contributions for that cause.“