Two promising Rwandan entrepreneurs have been selected by Microsoft for this year’s #Insiders4Good Fellowship.
Ange Uwambajimana pitched the IV Drip Alert, an app that enables nurses to more easily manage intravenous fluids through a wireless alert system, reducing the risk of complications caused by empty IV bags, while Rosine Mwiseneza’s Ivomerere app is an irrigation solution that enables farmers to manage their watering systems automatically and irrigate only when needed.
The two are part of the 21 East African entrepreneurs chosen for the fellowship that was launched in partnership with GrowthAfrica to support promising entrepreneurs and help them turn their extraordinary social business ideas into reality, the firm said in a statement last week. GrowthAfrica is a growth partner for African entrepreneurs and international companies scaling their business in and across the continent.
“The East Africa Fellows represent a diverse cohort from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda and their businesses address critical social challenges, including youth unemployment, communication for refugees, access to credit for small businesses, and the digital divide facing rural areas,” Bambo Sofola, the Microsoft director for software engineering, said while announcing the beneficiaries in Nairobi.
“The Fellows were selected based on the innovativeness of their ideas, the strength of their business proposals, and their potential to make a positive impact both in their communities and across East Africa regionally. Each Fellow will receive a suite of Microsoft hardware and software, and six months of tailored technical and strategic mentorship from local and international leaders,” Sofola added.
This is the second edition of the #Insiders4Good programme. Last year, Microsoft awarded #Insiders4Good Fellowship to 25 entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
“After a rich and rewarding experience supporting promising Nigerian entrepreneurs through the #Insiders4Good Fellowship, we are thrilled to expand the programme by supporting rising entrepreneurs in East Africa,” said Sofola.
The technology firm’s official said the panel was impressed by the problem-solving ideas of the East African Fellowship cohort, adding that many identified opportunities to tackle long-standing social challenges through recent technological trends, such as mobile phone penetration and digital data.
“We look forward to working with the East African #Insiders4Good Fellows, helping them achieve their goals, and learning about their challenges and creative approaches to realising their visions.”
Kunle Awosika, the Microsoft Kenya chief, lauded the efforts of the youth across the region, citing their enthusiasm to work in the technology sector as a key driver for organisations like Microsoft to render the necessary support.
“I am glad that the fourth industrial revolution is being driven by a generation of young, creative and energetic minds. I am sure this will help create a technology-driven Africa that the rest of the world will look up to,” Awosika said.
The fellows will kick-start the programme with an intensive entrepreneurs’ boot camp, where they will work with Microsoft and GrowthAfrica staff to build a solid foundation of business skills and mindsets, set goals for the programme, and create a roadmap for achieving those goals.