Nescafé has announced the four finalists of the 2015 Get Started Challenge, an initiative that aims to inspire young African entrepreneurs to generate innovative ideas that will create value for society.
Between April and June, almost 2,000 of ideas in the areas of technology, health, art and culture, community development and the environment, were collected from 18 to 30 year olds across Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. After a rigorous selection process, the public voted for the top four entries on the brand’s Facebook page: Dare Adu, a young man from Nigeria, aims to help widows and orphans to become financially independent through a healthy snack business.
Moïse Compaoré, from Burkina Faso, wants to help reduce the number of avoidable deaths by providing key medicines to patients in emergency wards. Ivorian Pierre Nahoa intends to create a platform providing local language courses in Côte d’Ivoire and beyond.
Finally, Korotoumou Sidibé, a young woman from Mali, dreams of eradicating food insecurity by improving the shelf life of food products through better packaging. These young entrepreneurs will be coached by influential African bloggers via live Google Hangouts; a platform that allows both voice and video conversations from any computer with internet connection.
The shortlisted candidates will then present the business case for their idea in front of a jury of leading African entrepreneurs, who will select the overall winner. The jury consists of Toyosi Akerele-Ogunisji, founder of the RISE Networks Social Enterprise; Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Academy; and Adama Ndiaye, the fashion designer behind Adama Paris and founder of Dakar Fashion Week. “We can’t wait to see what these dreams are really made of,” said Fred Swaniker. “Each of them has the potential to greatly contribute to positively shape the future of Africa.” The winner will receive USD 30,000 worth of financial support and mentoring to turn his dream into reality.
“I want you to believe in yourself, have passion for what you do, be humble to people, go around and talk to people about your dream and I guarantee you’ll become successful”, this is the encouragement from last year’s winner. Muazu Adamu, a 21 year-old-student from Nigeria, won $20,000 towards implementing his dream of lighting up Africa by boosting power produced from power generators. Muazu and his partner, Solomon, will soon begin a mentorship and idea creation training programme in Nigeria to help them manage their business more efficiently.