Twelve Kenyan start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will represent the country in an upcoming global trade fair in May where Sh2 million in seed money is up for grabs.
The young entrepreneurs impressed a panel of judges during the recently-concluded Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition in Arusha, Tanzania. The Kenyans will fight out with other contestants in the region in the upcoming Agri-business Innovation and Trade Fair, where the top six finalists will receive seed capital amounting to Sh2 million
The fair is funded by East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Syngenta, a global agriculture company, Inter-Region Economic Network, an independent African think tank that promotes ideas and policies promoting entrepreneurship, as well as Toyota Kenya Academy.
The 12 are part of the 120 successful applicants of the Young Innovators in Agri-business 2015 competition aged between 18 and 35 years. They are drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia in the competition’s Startups and SMEs category.
These enterprises are involved in production, manufacturing, marketing, innovation, knowledge transfer and agri-businesses. They participated in the Young Innovators in Agri-business Accelerated Training held at Nairobi’s Toyota Academy in October and December last year and qualified to be among the 90 outstanding trainees who competed in Arusha, Tanzania.
From the 90 contestants, the top 15 start-ups and 15 SMEs were selected to participate in the East Africa Young Innovators in Agri-business Innovation and Trade Fair which will be held in May 2016. The competition’s main focus is to equip the youth with skills to establish and run sustainable agricultural enterprises. Out of the 42 local enterprises that went for the competition, 12 were selected to proceed to the Young Innovators in Agri-business Innovation and Trade Fair in May 2016.