Revolutionizing renting: helping women safely find homes through their phones

Dorina Mathayo’s friend was looking for a new home. Unsure of where to start, Dorina’s friend was told to seek the assistance of an agent who could show her houses in Dar es Salaam  – but she still couldn’t find a place that she loved.

This interaction led to Dorina’s friend being recommended to a series of home buying agents, all of whom charged significant fees but didn’t seem to be able to help her. She felt taken advantage of and unsafe.  

Unfortunately, what Dorina’s friend experienced is not uncommon for women in Tanzania. Individuals are often left feeling uneasy and taken advantage of in the home seeking experience. It can be difficult for women, in particular, to find a place to live through services and people they trust.

Dorina saw the risks her friend was taking and realized she could use what she had learned from DOT entrepreneurship and business skills programming to create a better solution.


Through DOT’s Youth Leadership Program, Dorina was providing digital skills and entrepreneurial workshops for members of her community.

Dorina realized she could put these entrepreneurial principles to work in her own life. With the help of other #DOTYouth, Dorina and her colleagues developed the idea for NionesheApp.

I learned a lot from the challenges my friend experienced and I thought I could turn them into an opportunity. I discussed these challenges with my fellow #DOTYouth and together we came up with NionesheApp. 

NionesheApp is a mobile app that provides users with the information they need to find homes and spaces for rent in Tanzania without additional charges, red tape, or the need for third-party individuals.

The app is designed specifically with women in mind to provide a safe and reliable space where they can be connected with resources to help them find a home, as well as other home services they might need like repairs and upkeep.

We are living in an environment where women feel very insecure to talk to strangers. NionesheApp will eliminate the necessity of middlemen and allow users to safely find houses and home services.

Dorina and her team are currently prototyping NionesheApp, which will be launched in July 2019.

At DOT we’re excited to bring you inspiring stories that highlight the impact of daring young social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship and social innovation is an ongoing journey, so we invite you to follow along with Dorina by following her on Twitter at @docwtty.

This #DOTYouth story was developed as a part of DOT’s 2019 International Women’s Day campaign, during which youth from around the world shared their stories of community impact that are promoting gender balance.

Are you our next Community Leader, Digital Champion, or Social Innovator? Learn more about how to join #DOTYouth

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