Smart Havens Africa


Providing a sustainable and affordable pathway to homeownership for women and low-income families in Uganda.


  1. SHA’s current marketing practices do not allow it to find enough of the ideal kind of customers to scale their impact in a sustainable way — because those practices are not informed by the housing and communication preferences of their most successful clients. Market research would provide SHA with critical insight into its ideal target market so that the company can market effectively and attract enough of the right type of customer to be financially sustainable while also providing a housing solution for Ugandans that really need it.
  2. SHA’s current practices around collecting and analyzing data from clients do not support SHA’s business decision making to maximize their social impact because it does not have enough information about the short and long term impacts that their housing solution has on their customers.

Research Activities

Smart Havens Africa (SHA) provides affordable and sustainable housing in the Kampala area. To meet its aggressive scaling goals, SHA needs additional information on its social impact, and target market and operational efficiency. To understand how SHA needs to adapt to scale successfully, we used a three-pronged data collection approach:

  • Randomly sampled over 100 people from the Kampala area
  • Surveyed 33% of all SHA’s applicants
  • Conducted semi-structured interviews with 93% of SHA’s current customers

We used all three data sets to inform our analysis of SHA’s social and business success and subsequent recommendations.

Key Findings:

  • SHA can alter its business model to enhance customer experience post-sale.
  • SHA needs to create a marketing plan that effectively targets potential SHA customers that meet SHA’s social and financial needs.
  • SHA needs to implement a system to track its impact and understand how to improve over time.


  1. Business Development Report. Based on market research and customer interviews, this report contains recommendations for SHA to alter its business model to improve customer experience and to create a marketing plan that effectively targets potential SHA customers that meet SHA’s social and financial needs.
    1. Download the Business Development Report
  2. Preliminary Impact Report. This examines how SHA has impacted the lives of its current customers and establishes a system that will help SHA to continue tracking and analyzing its impact for years to come.
    1. Downloads the Preliminary Impact Report


Social Enterprises:
Smart Havens Africa

DJ Lambert
Economics, Political Science
LinkedIn | Blog

Brooke VanSant