The wait is over! Nescafé, Nestlé’s coffee brand, has announced the winner of this year’s Get Started challenge, an initiative which aims to inspire young African entrepreneurs to generate innovative ideas to create shared value for the society we live in. Together with some others, we've been tweeting up #getstartedafrica all year! Finale don come :-)
Korotoumou Sidibe, from Mali, beat 3 other finalists to win USD 30,000 ($$$$$) worth of financial and mentoring support from Nescafé to help fulfill her dream. Her dream is to reduce the amount of food waste in Mali and Africa through her unique preservation methods. +Koro Sidibe showed us some of her glorious food mixes when we met her at +Impact Hub Accra in October. Koro said: “I’m so excited that my project is about to take off thanks to Nescafé!” The Oklahoma based student added, “Each finalist’s dream also has the potential to have real community impact, so this is such an honour. We’re about to get started! I can finally start my food preservation project on a larger scale.”
The runners up are +Pierre Nahoa who seeks to provide access to native language learning courses in Côte d'Ivoire and Africa through his E-BOA'SOUKLOU project; +Dare Adu (Nigeria), who wants to help widows and orphans to become financially independent through his snack shop project; and +moïse compaoré, who intends to reduce the number of deaths that could be avoided at the hospitals through his the emergency box project. I'm happy to know that they each won USD 7,000 to help kick-start their dream projects.
The “Dream Truck” Tour started this. For this year's challenge, nearly 2,000 ideas in the areas of technology, health, culture, community development or the environment were submitted. A number of them were published on the Nescafé Get Started Africa website.
Ideas were also collected during the Get Started Truck Tour that travelled across Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana between April and June. I had the honour of being in Abidjan while the truck was there. +Emmanuel A. Gamor and I had a blast there! I finally made it to the country of +CYRIAC GBOGOU, +edith yah brou and +Yehni Djidji. We had a great time with the Nescafe team and fellow influencers like +Ameyaw Debrah +Yomi Adegboye +Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. CFA and +Basile Niane.
The 4 finalists were selected through a multi-stage voting process by the Nescafé team, which included a public vote on the Nescafé Facebook page and 9 key West African influencers (including yours truly), who reach 1.2 million online users every day. #TalktoUs.
|Koro on the Google Hangout with Laura, myself and Cyriac|
Koro, Pierre, Dare and Moise were mentored by us the influencers in Accra, Ghana, at the beginning of October via the live communication platform Google Hangouts. It was awesome to see, I learnt a few things about Google Hangouts in this process.
They then presented their business ideas to a jury of African entrepreneurs made up of +Fred Swaniker, Get Started jury leader and co-founder of the +African Leadership Network; +Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, founder of the RISE Networks Social Enterprise; and Adama Ndiaye, the fashion designer behind +adama paris and founder of Dakar Fashion Week. Fred said: “Nescafé’s Get Started challenge is a wonderful example of something that has inspired young people to think creatively, to innovate and to become role models for other young people about self-reliance and entrepreneurship. This is one influential way that will help young Africans to develop".
Last year’s winner, Muazu Adamu, a 21 year-old-student from Nigeria, won USD 20,000 towards fulfilling his dream of lighting up Africa by boosting power produced from generators through a device called the “power optimiser”.
“Since the beginning of the year, sales have hit close to 400 devices,” said Muazu. “We worked with a client who sponsored a new design and paid for production. So far we have sold up to 300 of the newly designed devices.” I look forward to seeing Koro also do great things with Nestle supporting her dream.
Nescafé’s Get Started challenge supports Nestlé’s way of doing business, which it calls ‘Creating Shared Value’. The company is creating opportunities and improving livelihoods for the communities in which it operates, plus developing its own activities.