Njeri Maina @njerimainar Getting good domestic help is hard. In some cases, even while using domestic help agencies, the person you get will either work for just a month and leave, seemingly having gotten the cash they wanted, or they will terrorise your house with ineptness among other things. Domestic help is, however, the most important employee one will ever procure as you will leave them with your best possession, your children. If you hire a good one, your life and that of your children thrives in turn. However, in many cases, domestic workers lack referrals from their former employers, are undocumented and suffer from lack of financial inclusion. Fully cognisant of these facts, Brian Ambia and his co-founder decided to help the situation using technology. Financial inclusion The two built Houzzie, a referral network that provides homeowners with access to a pool of domestic managers, while documenting and formalising domestic work to enable such workers to have access to affordable credit, career building training and insurance facilities. Through a combination of web, mobile and SMS channels, it allows one to screen domestic workers and see their referrals and reviews. Houzzie started in early 2020, built as a progressive web application, meaning that you do not need to download it to access it. Any project is as good as the people who start it. Brian explains that he met with his co-founder at a point when they both were extremely keen on leveraging artificial intelligence to solve different problems on the continent. Several meetings later, they discovered their shared passion for formalising informal work with the goal of professionalising it, and in turn making it more efficient and seamless for employers, and Houzzie was born. \u201cWe have a shared vision of Houzzie, and we complement each other with our skills. More importantly, we are both in it for the long term because we understand how complex of a problem it is. We disagree on the how, sometimes, but we remain focused on the why and a big part of the what. In my view, entrepreneurs should look for partners who are ready to play the long game, and have unquestionable integrity,\u201d Brian advises. How it works Homeowners sign up on the app and provide requirements they need. For example, if a home owner needs a new nanny, they sign up on the app, give the household details such as number of children, type of domestic manager needed in terms of skills, off days, salary amount and county, then they are matched to a pool of vetted domestic workers. Both homeowner and domestic manager agree to terms and conditions of services. Houzzie records and tracks all necessary information regarding the domestic manager to digitally document their work and provide a well-curated profile. The homeowner pays them through the app, and the domestic manager then becomes eligible for credit, health insurance, pension and training to improve their skills and overall quality of life. Houzzie works with a community manager who verifies all information provided. Brian explains that though the app is currently working with domestic managers only, they are looking to expand to other forms of domestic work such as gardeners and guards among others, with time. Now on the second version of the app, Brian says they plan to roll out this version to a group of Beta users in the next few weeks for feedback, before rolling it out across the country by August. He insists on the importance of building a great product; that is why most tech apps keep releasing new versions as they work on bugs users might come across. User perspective Brian is a serial entrepreneur, having started other businesses in different sectors with Houzzie as his first tech venture. \u201cThe dynamics around product development in the tech space is quite different from that in other sectors. You have to have a user\u2019s perspective in mind. Users need to have a good experience using your product. One misplaced button or menu destroys their experience,\u201d Brian says of the main difference between working in tech versus other spaces. Other challenges include getting funding and good engineers to work with. Engineers are expensive, and every bit of the journey towards making great tech being capital intensive. Cash constraints will invariably slow down the process as founders\u2019 source for more capital. Brian explains that they have had to build trust with homeowners and domestic workers to convince them to join the platform and show them how it works. But challenges are part of every entrepreneur\u2019s journey. Weathering them is the true test of every business. Brian says theirs has been great feedback they have received from users. \u201cWe are obsessed with customer satisfaction and product usefulness, so getting both positive and negative feedback from customers is great reinforcement. We are in this for the long haul so we value both equally,\u201d Brian says in conclusion.