Carolina Medina Gutiérrez
After living for a decade in the Dominican Republic, Medina returned to her native Colombia to study political science at the University of the Andes. With a passion for designing and carrying out mobile solutions for poor people, she earned a Masters at the London School of Economics in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies.
Taking on the challenge of the Hult Prize 2013 on food safety in poor urban neighborhoods, Medina co-founded her socially-oriented company, SokoText, along with four classmates from the LSE. SokoText has two social goals: empower small shops in marginal neighborhoods and contribute to improving food safety at the base of the economic pyramid. In order to do this SokoText creates a virtual purchasing group via cell phone which aggregates orders from small shop owners in poor areas, so they can buy at wholesale prices. The savings can then be passed on to consumers. SokoText now has three distribution centers that supply 85 small stores in Nairobi, Kenya. They sell discounted products to more than 6,000 final consumers.
Medina has three years of domestic and international experience in consulting, market research and social innovation. Her current project is to repeat the SokoText Kenya model in Latin America, starting in Colombia. She has the backing of the Bavaria Foundation, Social Lab Colombia and Meiko. Over the long term her career goal is to create various not-for-profit companies that contribute to the development of Colombia and Latin America.