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Kenyan-made search engine for the business community

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New tool will help you find detailed information on local businesses and their services

By Tullah Stephen

Google, Yahoo and Bing can be good for finding general information about a subject or topic. But if you are searching for precise information about a business, then MyFinda comes in handy.

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Maliha Sheikh, creator Myfinda

MyFinda is a Kenyan search engine designed to give you access to timely and useful information on businesses as well as services.

The app was developed by Maliha Sheikh, a tech marvel with 22 years professional experience as a teacher and IT marketer. The idea behind the app, she says, was to give small and medium companies an opportunity to get online presence.

“In a world where consumers use search engines to find local business information, SMEs often compete with global chains when it comes to local search,” says Sheikh, adding that large businesses are often at an advantage for reasons such as having developed strong links over time as well as investing heavily in search optimization.

MyFinda, Sheikh says, is specifically designed to make operations easier especially for small businesses that today face challenges in getting the relevant visibility.

According to Google, the most common searches today are done to get addresses, hours and directions, or to find out if a product or service is available. Unfortunately, the tools provide out-dated or insufficient information most of the times.

“When you are looking for a business, especially online, search engines do not offer much. It is quite a daunting task to get businesses that meet your criteria, location, size, or a certain kind of a business profile’, and so on, and that is where we come in,” says  Sheikh.

It took her about one and a half years to develop MyFinda, which she officially launched on 24th August 2016.

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How it works

You can register and use MyFinda by logging into the website and picking a package that meet your needs.

The app comes complete with a number of subscription packages that allow users to share handy information about their businesses. Users are also be able to update information such as your business location, directions, deals and offers, contacts, career opportunities.

The various packages are classified as Basic, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Platinum, each with its advantages.

Subscription for the Platinum package, the premium package, goes for KSh6, 000 (US$60). The gold, silver and bronze plans go for KSh 3500 (US$35), Ksh3000 (US$30) and 2,500 (US$25) per year respectively.

“MyFinda also offers a free business listing service, which can provide visibility to entrepreneurs; is available for both android and iOS phones; and downloadable for free on the respective stores,” says Sheikh.

In addition, the app offers businesses an opportunity to access analytics about their businesses such as the number of times their businesses has been reviewed — information that can be crucial for business planning. It also incorporates smart features such as Weather, Jokes and News sections, currency and Unit Converter features that further enhance user experience.

Who is using it?

So far over 500 businesses are using MyFinda. The businesses range from car dealers, restaurant, doctors, among others.

“One of the key areas we are putting a lot of focus on is the credibility of the companies listing on the app. We have to know your contacts and location before we engage you. We believe that due diligence is paramount,” says Sheikh.

She also takes cognisance of online scams and dodgy dealers to help MyFinda users take precautions before buying from a website they have never heard of.

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