Dozens of young aspiring entrepreneurs from all over North and South Kivu entered the “Entrepreneurship Contest”. And the winners were announced Thursday 14 February 2019.
Cap Kivu Hotel held the annual contest and it was heaving with spectators. The nine finalists had just 4 minutes to explain their business plan and win over the panel of judges. The panel of 4 judges was made up of a UN representatives, a national deputy, a banker, the representative of the Swiss cooperation. The panel had several agendas on their mind: environment, economy, research and originality.
Each contestant confidently shared their vision. Businesses ranged from school management systems, recyclable furniture to fashion lines and agriculture technology. They all had one thing in common: innovation. Whether it was trying to instill a new software, promote local goods or create more job opportunities, all contestants had a drive to succeed and achieve something great.
“Invest in our future” says the eager entrepreneur Mannick Syllas Bryant.
It was clear that all contestants were passionate and self motivated. Not only were they trying to build a prosperous future for themselves but also make a positive impact on their community.
Female entrepreneur Marie-Edith Mushagalusa Namulisato has created her business from local resources. Her business Perfect produces chairs and tables out of tyres and recyclable goods. "When I was younger, I always relied on someone but now I want to create something for myself and by myself,” says the young business lady.
The “Entrepreneurial contest” provides a platform for young men and women. The competition hopes to encourage more and more women to build their own future. 3 out of the 9 finalists were female and this number is rising every year. Aspiring young female entrepreneurs today have developed a strong business acumen and have made leaps within Africa. Women are increasingly becoming more empowered to decide the course of their professions, life and realize their fullest potential. And opportunities like this want to drive this forward and promote gender equality.
“The initial idea behind the festival and contest was peace. But now it is how we will live together and build a future,” says Eric De Lamotte one of the key founders of the festival.
The 4 winners of this year’s contest were:
1. Kibidon, Brackley casinga
2. Vive l’insecte, Gloriette Chitona
3. Perfect, Marie-Edith Mushagalusa Namulisa
4. AJAPD in Bukavu, Murhula Gurhamanywa Patrick
The 4 young entrepreneurs will receive a USD $2,500 loan as well as invaluable mentorship and training to ensure they have the best capacity and training for their project.
The Entrepreneurial contest would like to thank all the contestants for their participation in another successful edition of the competition. We look forward to hearing more stories about young entrepreneurs being inspired and up for a challenge.