15 African entrepreneurial teams secure Mastercard Foundation funding

A team of two Rwandan young entrepreneurs along with other entrepreneurs from other African countries were over the weekend announced as the winners of this year’s Mastercard Foundation venture challenge.

Marie-Aimée Nirere and Nadine Iradukunda from Rwanda established ‘Healthy Us’, a social venture that is trying to increase the wellbeing of orphans in Rwanda through a nutritional awareness programme.

The programme aims at establishing a kitchen garden in a local orphanage to grow fruit 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.

That is the idea that saw Mastercard Foundation scholars them secure seed funding and mentorship to pursue their idea further.

They are among 31 teams of scholars who competed for a Resolution Fellowship, to receive seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global change makers to pursue impactful projects in their communities.

The Mastercard Foundation collaborates with The Resolution Project to host a Resolution Social Venture Challenge, a competition that provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities.

In 2016, six teams won the challenge, followed by 10 winning teams in 2017 and 15 teams in 2018.

Many Scholars are developing projects inspired by challenges they have observed first-hand in their communities. With modest resources, Scholars are activating their ideas for change to make a difference in their societies and in the continent

This year, 15 teams have emerged winners of the 2019 Mastercard Foundation Social Venture challenge. The teams are from Cameron, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Senegal, Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon, Kenya and Malawi.

Each team will receive seed funding to scale their projects and a lifetime membership to the Resolution Fellowship that will help them continue getting guidance and membership to grow their projects.

According to Ashley Collier, the Manager of Youth Engagement and Networks at Mastercard Foundation, each individual group will get up to $5000 and business development training.

“The funding is important but it is not the most important aspect for individual development. The mentorship is key and that is why we set up one to one mentor to every scholar,” she noted.

Collier told Business Times that their belief was to invest in individual human development as their ideas may not necessarily thrive but individuals will always be equipped to drive change.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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