As the 21st century grapples with problems related to displacement and immigration, be it the building of a wall across the Mexican border, Trump on twitter or maybe back home the CAB – Citizenship Amendment Bill and the issue of these homeless Bangladeshis, the United Nations as always hit a bouncer! Tenzin Seldon, a Tibetan raised as a refugee in the foothills of the Himalayas has been awarded the United Nations Innovative Disruptor Award for her technology based enterprise called the Kinstep.
Kinstep has been developed as a platform to provide B2B services helping immigrants to connect with companies for a perfect job. Seldon realises the power of technology and used it to create her company which besides providing a wage also combats the problems of exploitative labor practises.
Tenzin Seldon migrated to the United States as a teenager. Graduating with honours from Stanford University, she became the first Tibetan American Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. She has spent her career advocating for the immigrant communities when she witnessed the hardships faced by many young migrants in the new countries. She has also worked as a visiting lecturer at the University of Rangsit teaching International Policy.
Reminiscences about the times when she had moved across the oceans, she felt that technology would have made a lot of difference to her resettlement. This lead her to start Kinstep with her Co – Founder Adrienne Huesca, a company which works with other small and medium companies that are inclusive and which recognise the talent and skills of the immigrants. However everything was not so smooth sailing for Tenzin and her company, as there is a drastic change in the social and political climate of America.
“ when I was growing up in the US, my family did face some resentment, but people were willing to accept us….however, in Trump’s America the tone has gotten darker…”
Another greater challenge that she faces is her goal related to her company, Kinstep, which is not only to generate profit but also to empower the people who use their services and to showcase to the world that socially good startups are viable!
Tenzin Seldon has also been listed in the under 30 Social Entrepreneurs of the Forbes Magazine!