Fifteen teams of emerging African social entrepreneurs have been selected as winners of the 2019 Resolution Social Venture Challenge. A total of 31 teams of Mastercard Foundation Scholars competed in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge for a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship, and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities. A collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project, the Resolution Social Venture Challenge provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters.
“These young leaders demonstrate the courage and creativity it takes to drive social change. Yet few have access to the support and resources they need to ensure their project or social venture is successful,” explains Ashley Collier, Senior Program Manager, Youth Engagement at the Mastercard Foundation. “By winning the Social Venture Challenge, these young leaders have earned the resources, network, mentorship, and capital they need to bring their ideas to life.”
“For four years, we have been grateful to work with the Mastercard Foundation on seeding the continent with social entrepreneurs and providing them with access to resources and wrap-around support so they can become leaders and job creators today.” said George M. Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of the Resolution Project. “In the over 100 Mastercard Foundation Scholars who have become Resolution Fellows, we see the continent’s youth rising up to meet the challenges they have inherited. We know they will be major contributors to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative, transforming their home communities, the continent, and the world.”
Winning projects address a wide range of challenges Scholars have observed first-hand in their communities, including financial literacy among rural women, access to nutritious foods in orphanages, and safe and affordable biomedical devices to reduce the impact of preventable diseases.
Winners of the 2019 Social Venture Challenge say that:
“We have been given an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills we have acquired to be at the forefront of creating change in our country,” says Shinina Muthiora co-founder of Soma, Mastercard Foundation Scholar from Kenya, studying at the University of British Colombia. “But it also comes with great responsibility to deliver on our promise. Because we now have more people cheering and hoping that we succeed.”
“My community faces many challenges with poverty, unemployment, hunger, and pollution,” says Msouobu Gueuwou Shester Landry, co-founder of Bottle Furniture, Mastercard Foundation Scholar from Cameroon, studying at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. “I envision a world where people think more about environmental sustainability, because it’s important to improve society and protect future generations.”
2019 Social Venture Challenge Winners
The 2019 cohort of Social Venture Challenge winners include projects based in Rwanda, Kenya, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Malawi, Senegal, and Lebanon.
Bottle Furniture – Douala, Cameroon
Msouobu Guewou Shester Landry | Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology (KNUST)
Bottle Furniture aims to alleviate plastic bottle pollution in Douala, Cameroon by upcycling bottles to produce furniture for the community. Up to 80% of bottles will be removed from the streets and drains of Douala through the venture’s collection system. This project will produce tables, chairs, and cupboards for underprivileged homes, schools, and offices.
HERFuture – Serrekunda, Gambia Haddijatou Touray, Isatou Jallow, and Sally Dibba | Ashesi University
HERFuture aims to provide leadership opportunities to underprivileged girls in Serrekunda, Gambia. The project will offer mentorship, capacity training, and scholarships to girls aged 12-19 years who lack access to formal educational opportunities.
Api-Smart – Bebuso, Ghana
Elikplim Avor and Ransford Aniagyei | Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology (KNUST)
Api-Smart aims to create employment and reduce poverty in Bebuso, Ghana by training young people in bee-keeping and honey production. This project will also provide a market for harvested honey and encourage forestation in the process.
Duafe – Kumasi, Ghana
Ermyntrude Adjei and Matilda Koa | Arizona State University
Duafe aims to close the gender gap in technology by teaching programming skills to young girls in Kumasi, Ghana. The project will run science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workshops, boot camps, and mentoring programs in schools, and provide access to career opportunities.
Linda – Kenya
Grace Nkatha Kiruja, Martine Irakoze, and Prudence Akoth Hainga | University of Edinburgh
Kinda seeks to promote sexual-health education and sexual assault awareness in primary and secondary school students in Kenya through a subscription-based text message service. By providing sexual health education to teenage girls via text message, Linda will ensure the sensitive nature of its content will remain private thereby breaking down taboos around the subject.
Soma – Nairobi, Kenya
Mathew Bushuru, Moses Kirathe, and Shinina Muthiora | University of British Columbia
Soma aims to increase access to free educational tools and resources for high school students in Nairobi, Kenya. Many high school students have access to a computer or a mobile device, but lack an internet connection which can be expensive and unreliable. This project will provide free educational tools and resources to schools using content servers and USB drives, circumventing the need to connect to the internet.
EduPass – Baalbak, North Bekaa, Lebanon
Eslam Abo Alhawa, Mahmoud Kanso, and Nour Al-Bidewe | American University of Lebanon
EduPass aims to develop an application that will help students, who had to leave secondary school, to gain the knowledge and practical skills they need to be successful. Through lessons, practices, and quizzes, EduPass will create new pathways for students to fill gaps in their education. The project will also provide in-person and virtual assistance to students to ensure academic success.
MUSHECO Farm – Mzuzu, Malawi
Jireh Mwamukonda and Yamikani Ng’ona | EARTH University
MUSHECO Farm is training unemployed youth and women in Mzuzu, Malawi to cultivate high- quality oyster mushrooms at a low cost. MUSHECO Farm will utilize corn stover biomass, which is abundant and otherwise disposed of following maize harvests in Mzuzu, as fertilizer to ensure that the cultivation is sustainable and accessible to community members. This project will also teach members how to bring the oyster mushrooms to market to better sustain themselves economically.
Healthy_Us – Masaka, Kigali, Rwanda
Marie Aimée Nirere and Nadine Iradukunda | Ashesi University
Healthy_Us aims to increase the wellbeing of orphans in Kigali, Rwanda through a nutritional awareness program. The program will create a kitchen garden in a local orphanage to grow fruits and vegetables, especially mushrooms, which are rich in protein and easy to cultivate. The income from the mushroom sales will provide orphaned children with food, toiletries, and school materials.
Guérté Réwmi Company – Dakar, Senegal
Fatou Sambe | American University of Beirut
Guérté Réwmi aims to create jobs in Dakar, Senegal through peanut production. The project will assist farmers in refining raw peanuts to create products such as peanut butter, which will increase employment, raise incomes, and better utilize Senegalese natural resources. Farmers will adhere to environmentally sustainable practices in turning their peanut waste into animal
AgriSan – Pallisa District, Uganda
Amanuel Eshete and Edith Naisubi | Ashesi University
AgriSan aims to establish a community market garden for underprivileged rural women in the Pallisa District of Uganda. The women will grow vegetables as a source of income and use the leftover vegetables to fertilize. In addition, the venture will teach the women about savings strategies and other financial management skills to ensure their economic security.
GenFarm Financial Enterprise – Northern Uganda
Allan Busuulwa and Arnold Katende | EARTH University
GenFarm Financial Enterprise will empower smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda through financial literacy training, access to agricultural technologies, and end-to-end services that optimize crop yields and labour productivity. The project will also develop strategies to improve market access for smallholder farmers’ agricultural products in Northern Uganda.
Pura Vida – Koro Abili, Gulu District, Uganda
Grace Aguti and Peter Onyango | EARTH University
Pura Vida is tackling food insecurity in the Gulu District of Uganda by developing an innovative greenhouse and food drying system. The prefabrication bamboo greenhouse will ensure families can grow food during the dry season, and dry their produce in the wet season-ultimately increasing their food security, health, and household income.
DeepEye Initiative – Harare, Zimbabwe
Esau Mhandu and Ronald Tumuhairwe | Ashesi University
DeepEye Initiative aims to reduce the impact of preventable illnesses in Harare, Zimbabwe. By developing a low-cost, biomedical device that uses sound waves to detect the presence of fluid in the lungs, DeepEye will improve the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the diagnosis of pneumonia. The device is a low-cost alternative to chest x-rays, which are prohibitively expensive and unsafe for young children.
JP- Jumping Protein – Marondera, Zimbabwe
Esnath Divasoni | Earth University
Jumping Protein aims to reduce malnutrition in infants and toddlers in Morandera, Zimbabwe by creating a sustainable protein source through the farming of insects. The project aims to train community members on how to cultivate crickets, mealworms, and black soldier flies for both human consumption and animal feed, using locally available materials. The availability of insects throughout the year will provide a high protein food option for the community.
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