According to Temitayo Ade-Peters, the CEO of WeForGood International, during a press briefing, it was explained that the initiative is an annual project to commemorate World Youth Skills Day on July 15th. During this event, a call for entries is launched based on specific criteria.
The hybrid event, which took place on Thursday, June 15th, 2023, witnessed 10 African entrepreneurs pitching their business solutions. Among the fellows in this cohort, six of them received N3m each to support their innovations/businesses.
Ade-Peters said that the main sponsor for this project was IHS Nigeria, a brand that has contributed to the growth of the economy through its business operations in providing shared communication infrastructure.
Gimba Mohammed, the Director of Government Relations at IHS Nigeria, said that the brand is excited to partner with WeForGood in achieving this feat of contributing to the growth of SMEs in Africa.
This is our own way of giving back to the society. We believe in the African dream and know that with the right support, our youths can compete globally with their innovative ideas which is evident in what we saw today, he added.
The names of the 6 grant winners are Chikere Onyinyechi, Muhammad Abdullahi, Olanya Richard, Zainab Ishaq, Yolo Smith, and Grace George, respectively. Here’s a brief overview of each grant recipient:
Chikere Onyinyechi, Co-Founder of Clozetsales in Lagos, is currently addressing environmental pollution caused by fashion waste in Nigeria.
Muhammad Abdullahi, Co-Founder of Queen Amina Medical Integration (Trash 4 Health Innovation) in Bauchi, is addressing the issues of child spacing, diabetes, and hypertension by having rural residents exchange their plastic pet bottles for essential drugs.
Olanya Richard, Founder of Green Growth Plus Investment in Uganda, is tackling climate change by investing in solid waste management, tree seedling production, and smart climate irrigation in the northern region of Uganda.
Zainab Ishaq, the founder of Amnah Agro-Allied Farms, is solving the challenge of making protein available for Nigeria’s over 200 million population by creating cattle farm sheds, deworming the cattle against diseases and infections, and producing feeds for the cattle to have healthy nutrition without roaming around grazing in search of feed.
Yolo Smith, CEO of De-Rabacon Plastics, is addressing the global plastic waste crisis by recycling it into high-quality pavement blocks that are twice as strong as regular bricks.
Grace George, the founder of Engee Collection, is providing sustainable employment opportunities for unemployed youths, girls, and women by teaching and empowering them with skills such as baking, sewing, upcycling, and manufacturing fashion and luxury products.