Outstanding 90 East Africa and Ethiopia youth owned Startups and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) participated in the Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition that was held in Arusha, Tanzania February 24-27, 2016. This was a follow up to the ongoing Young Innovators in Agribusiness Accelerated Training meant to equip youth in East Africa and AGOA countries with skills to establish and run sustainable enterprises along agricultural value chains to attract investments. The competing enterprises focused on production; manufacture; value addition; marketing; innovation; knowledge transfer and agribusiness linkage services.
The competitors aged between 18-35 years were part of the 120 successful applicants of the Young Innovators in Agribusiness 2015 Competition drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia in the competition’s Startups and SMEs category.
From the 90 contestants, the top 15 Start-ups and 15 SMEs were selected to participate in the East Africa Young Innovators in Agribusiness Innovation and Trade Fair to be held in May 2016. The contestants made a seven minute presentation and exhibited their products to judges who were drawn from the business community and organizations that play a key role in the agricultural value chains.
7 Kenyan Start-ups and 5 SMEs will proceed to the Trade Fair followed by 4 Tanzanian Start-ups and 2 SMEs; 2 Rwandese Start-ups and 3 SMEs; 1 Ugandan Start-up and 3 SMEs; 2 Ethiopian SMEs and 1 Burundian Start-up.
The top 6 finalists in the Agribusiness Innovation and Trade Fair in May 2016 will receive seed capital amounting to USD 20 000.
The Young Innovators in Agribusiness competition follows a similar successful agribusiness competition in 2014 that attracted over 800 participants from sub-Saharan Africa as well as the participation of Young Innovators in Agribusiness at the 2015 Africa Green Revolution Forum in Zambia.
This year’s edition is made possible by the USAID-supported East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Syngenta, Inter-Region Economic Network and Toyota Kenya Academy. The current competition’s main focus is to equip youth with skills to establish and run sustainable enterprises along agricultural value chains.
About the partners
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub): The Hub is the U.S. Government’s flagship project under the presidential Trade Africa initiative, launched in 2013 to boost trade and investment with and within Africa. The Hub is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal of the Hub is to deepen regional integration, increase the competitiveness of select regional agriculture value chains, promote two-way trade with the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and facilitate investment and technology that drives trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets. http://www.eatradehub.org/
Syngenta: Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. http://www.syngenta.com/
IREN: The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) is a leading independent African think tank that promotes ideas and strategies geared towards causing prosperity in Africa through free enterprise and sound public policy. IREN's key focus areas include targeted events, trainings, research, consultancy, communication and its flagship magazine: The African Executive - published in English every Wednesday. IREN hosts the Enactus Kenya which has managed university undergraduate business competitions for the last 13 years. IREN and Enactus Kenya successfully managed last year’s Agribusiness Competition that attracted 800 participants across Sub Saharan Africa. http://www.irenkenya.com/
Toyota Kenya Academy (TKA) Toyota Tsusho Corporation Group Company: Toyota Kenya Limited opened its human resources training center, Toyota Kenya Academy, on July 16, 2014 at the Toyota Kenya Business Park located three kilometres southeast of Nairobi. The center provides learning opportunities that develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes of its staff, customers, stakeholders and communities. Toyota Kenya Academy offers courses on automobile & autotronics technology, entrepreneurship, agri-prenuership and agri-mechanization. Through partnering with various recognized institutions in the provision of skills development, the Academy will achieve its overall objective of being a learning Centre of Excellence within the region in relevant training, and as part of Company’s corporate social responsibility, it will partner with various recognized institutions in the provision of skills development.
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