Ezinne Uko (Nigeria) and Peter Wachira (Kenya) have been selected as the two winners of the $200,000 Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition held today at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Both walk away with a $100 000 USD investment, a similar amount in credit facility from Equity Bank Kenya, and a two week mentorship at Kwesé's headquarters in South Africa with Strive Masiyiwa, founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Global. The 10 runners up each receive $10 000 USD investment in their ventures.
Following two days of intense training sessions at the Nairobi Garage with experienced mentors in business, innovation and entrepreneurship including Sebastian Wafula (The Wafula Corporation Limited), Patricia Jumi (Growth Africa), Grant Brooke (Twiga Foods), Peter Park (Connect Health) and Jussi Hinkkanen (Fuzu) Ezinne and Peter have taken the grand prize from a group of 12 finalists from DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Finalists also had pre-finale pitches and received feedback on how to better present their businesses/ventures from Esther Ndeti (Executive Director East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association), Julian Kyula (Founder MODE) and Kevin Mulei (Founder and CEO Mo Sound Events) in the lead up to the grand finale.
At an event co-hosted by Terryanne Chebet (Founder/CEO Keyara Organics) and Larry Madowo (NTV anchor) on Friday afternoon, the finalists (six men and six women) each had three minutes to pitch their ventures to a live panel of judges comprising Ndidi Nwuneli (Founder at LEAPAfrica), Clive Msipha (CEO, Untu Capital Limited) and Juliana Rotich (co-founder of Ushahidi, and Tech Partner, Africa Tech Ventures).
Judged on their business/non-profits' sustainability, originality, social benefit, and scalability as well as votes garnered from the general public in a month-long social media voting phase which closed on 30 November 2017, Contrail Stores and A Remote Youth Venture impressed the judges and will walk away with a $100 000 injection into their business/venture from Mr Masiyiwa.
As one of the largest entrepreneurship competitions on the African continent, the journey to selecting the final winners was an amazing one with over 4800 competition entries, 50 million social media shares and over 200 000 web page visits. The winners endured, and their businesses will not only benefit financially but, as first-ever Kwesé Fellows, they will also continue to receive best business/venture practices from Mr Masiyiwa for the duration of their mentorship program.
Kwesé Inc and Liquid Telecom (sister companies of Econet Global) sponsored Friday's #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition grand finale at Strathmore and then took part as partners at a powerful discussion hosted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Growth, founded and managed by Oxford University's Blavatnik School and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Moderated by Lorna Irungu-Macharia (CEO Gina Din Group) Friday's Tech & Entrepreneurship Town Hall addressed a wide range of topics including how emerging technologies can best be harnessed by entrepreneurs, the private sector and governments both to create jobs and wealth, and to tackle long-standing economic and social development problems, particularly in developing countries.
Panelists included the pioneer behind the #GoGettaz competition, Strive Masiyiwa (co-Chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission) and special guest James Mwangi (CEO, Equity Bank Kenya) along with Fellow Pathways for Prosperity Commissioners, Shivani Siroya (founder and CEO of Tala), Kamal Bhattacharya (Chief Innovation Officer of Safaricom).
"At our eighth Africa Entrepreneurship Town Hall today, we had hundreds of people from different walks of life, all in the same room, all focused on solutions for the future: top business leaders, government officials, technology experts, academics, students... all thinking about how new technologies can help rather than harm society," said Masiyiwa
"We also had about 2 million people online through Facebook LIVE: new voices with new questions and new ideas."
"And last but definitely not least we had our 12 young entrepreneurs from across Africa tackling prosperity in a different way, one business innovation at a time!"
"Today is how we build for Africa's century and end poverty globally. Together we listen, we innovate and we take action -- with data and vision, and without delay."
To inspire upcoming entrepreneurs and pave the way for new generation innovators, the #GoGettaz competition finals will be broadcast on Kwesé Inc, an exclusive channel for entrepreneurs on the pay TV platform Kwesé TV, now available in over 10 countries with more to launch in the month ahead.
About Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development
Founded and managed by the Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation the newly-launched Pathways for Prosperity Commission aims to bring in new voices from diverse backgrounds to debates on development pathways and inclusion. The Commission's approach aims to break down traditional barriers between academics and the private sector, and build an evidence base on the potential effects of the next generation of disruptive technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, nanotechnology and blockchain.
The Commission co-chairs are Melinda Gates (co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Hon Mulyani Indrawati (Minister of Finance of Indonesia) and Strive Masiyiwa.
About Kwesé Inc
Kwesé Inc is an exclusive channel of Kwesé TV, designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. featuring premium content aimed to entertain, educate and inspire entrepreneurs throughout the African continent. Launched in 2016, with headquarters in Johannesburg, Kwesé TV is Africa's newest and most dynamic entertainment company, providing viewers across the African continent with 88+ channels of affordable, premium, exclusive, content via Pay TV, Free-to-Air TV and digital. https://www.kwese.com/
About Liquid Telecom
A subsidiary of Econet Global, Liquid Telecom is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa's largest mobile network operators, ISPs and businesses of all sizes. It also provides payment solutions to financial institutions and retailers, as well as award winning data storage and communication solutions to businesses across Africa and beyond. Put simply, we connect people. https://liquidtelecom.com
About Strathmore University
With over 8000 students, Strathmore University has become one of the most respected private universities in the region. It is a leader in ICT and innovation through its research centre I-Lab, and has created partnerships with top universities all over the world such as Harvard, IESE Business School in Spain, New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Columbia Universities among others.
It is the only academic institution that is a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD). www.strathmore.edu
About Nairobi Garage
Nairobi Garage is Africa’s largest co-working space for new and growing businesses. Born in 2014 out of the incubation and successful private seed fund 88mph, Nairobi Garage is a response to the need for non-traditional, lean and flexible office space solutions. We know how much businesses and individuals thrive in a community setting.
With central locations on Ngong Road and the Westlands area, our locations are open 24/7 and provide an innovative and vibrant space for our diverse groups of SMEs, startups, entrepreneurs and independent professionals.
With a combined area of over 52,000 sqft, Nairobi Garage provides well designed coworking and enclosed offices, event space and on demand meeting room facilities equipped with projectors, TV’s, whiteboards and video conferencing. All our spaces are powered by fast and reliable internet.
Our ecosystem offers its members an invaluable community and a pool of Nairobi’s most high-growth and high-impact ventures. Members get access to business opportunities, networking events, workshops, marketing support as well as access to affordable legal, accounting, and coaching business services that support their growth and ease of business. http://www.nairobigarage.com/