Nescafé, Nestlé’s coffee brand, has announced the winner of this year’s Get Started challenge, an initiative that aims to inspire young African entrepreneurs to generate innovative ideas to create shared value for the society we live in.
Korotoumou Sidibe, from Mali, beat three other finalists to win USD 30,000 worth of financial and mentoring support from Nescafé to help fulfil her dream of reducing the amount of food waste in Mali and Africa through her unique preservation methods.
“I’m so excited that my project is about to take off thanks to Nescafé!” said Korotoumou. “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 dreams of providing access to native language learning courses in Côte d'Ivoire and Africa through his E-BOA'SOUKLOU project; Dare Adu, a young man from Nigeria, who wants to help widows and orphans to become financially independent through his snack shop project; and Moise Campaore, who intends to reduce the number of deaths that could be avoided at the hospitals through his the emergency box project. They were each rewarded with USD 7,000 to help kick-start their dream projects.
Nearly 2,000 ideas in the areas of technology, health, culture, community development or the environment were submitted earlier this year from 18-30 year olds who registered their applications 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.
The four finalists were selected through a multi-stage voting process by the Nescafé team, a public vote on the Nescafé Facebook page and nine key West African influencers, who reach 1.2 million online users every day.
The shortlisted candidates were then provided with mentoring sessions with the bloggers in Accra, Ghana, at the beginning of October via the live communication platform Google Hangouts.
At the final selection, they 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 Ogunisji, founder of the RISE Networks Social Enterprise; and Adama Ndiaye, the fashion designer behind Adama Paris and founder of Dakar Fashion Week.
“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,” said Mr Swaniker.
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.”
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.