Startup Profiles: Meet Nadiya from Kynza

Tell us about your startup and what inspired you to start it.

Kynza brings rotational savings into the digital age by streamlining the entire experience into one consolidated platform. Rotational savings, where groups of trusted family and friends combine their money together and take turns withdrawing from a collective pool, has long been a powerful mutual aid tool used by underserved communities to meet their financial health needs. Our mobile application preserves this time-tested peer-to-peer model of cooperative savings while solving for the administrative burden that comes along with facilitating these groups. 

Kynza’s story comes out of my community and doctoral research work. Expanding the boundaries of access and inclusion has driven much of my professional life. Kynza is one demonstration of this drive – I saw an opportunity to support vulnerable communities through an asset-based approach. With Kynza I saw an opportunity to use technology to help make this tool go further for these communities.

What energizes you to pursue your startup even when things aren’t going as planned?

As a racialized and black owned leadership team, thinking about the potential impact we could have on the financial wellbeing of communities like our own continues to energize us. 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own startup? Why?

Passion matters, but grit is what’s going to get you through the ups and downs of startup life. 

What life or work experiences helped prepare you to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?

Nearly 10 years in academia, working towards my PhD has definitely taught me quite a bit about how to hold on and execute on what I’m passionate about. 

What change would you like to see in your industry?

Diversity and Inclusion taken much more seriously! Especially greater inclusion of products/services meant to serve the needs of the underserved.

What is your motto in life?

Try, try and try again!

What is one thing you’ve learned so far or taken away since joining IFH Lab?

We have really come to appreciate the value and power of messaging. Regularly working on how to present our work to a range of industry-experts has pushed us to hone in on our value added even more.