October 20, 2022 – Kigali, Rwanda – Twenty young African social entrepreneurs have been selected as winners of the 2022 Resolution Social Venture Challenge. The Social Venture Challenge, a collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and Resolution Project, identifies ethical leaders who want to make a difference in their community and provides them with a pathway to implement their ideas through innovative social entrepreneurship.
The Social Venture Challenge is held at an annual event, the Baobab Summit, which this year was dedicated to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Ninety-three teams applied to compete in the multi-step competition, the first to be held in person after two years of virtual competitions. The twenty Scholars, making up nine teams, are currently enrolled in undergraduate studies at universities across Africa.
“Over the last couple of years, we have seen how crucial social entrepreneurship is in fixing seemingly intractable problems in communities across the world,” said George Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of Resolution Project. “The pandemic laid bare the fact that many larger organizations were too slow to respond to urgent issues affecting people’s basic needs. Community-oriented leaders at the local level were the ones to step in and act in their time of need. We are so honoured and deeply thankful to be back in Kigali alongside the Mastercard Foundation to welcome twenty more young leaders who will be well-equipped to serve their communities through their passion, energy, and intellect.”
“Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge. These young entrepreneurs are fuelled by passion, creativity, and a commitment to improving the lives of others,” said Duaa Mohamed, Lead, Transformative Leadership Programs at the Mastercard Foundation. “For the last seven years, the SVC has provided Scholars with an opportunity to strengthen their leadership muscles, cultivate entrepreneurial skills, and solve local challenges. These nine teams join an impressive network of Resolution Project Fellows. These like-minded changemakers will be provided with the skills, resources, and capital required to scale their ventures, drive change, and achieve maximum impact.”
Since 2016, more than $545,000 has been awarded to 215 Mastercard Foundation Scholars, who have won the Social Venture Challenge. In addition to seed funding, the newly awarded Resolution Fellows are provided with mentorship and access to a network of global changemakers. Resolution Fellows have gone on to positively impact more than 64,000 people across Africa so far.
Winning projects address a wide range of issues that Scholars have observed first-hand in their communities. This year, the winning teams were primarily based in Uganda where they are working on issues such as women’s empowerment, youth employment, reducing plastic pollution, and much more.
2022 SVC Winners Quotes:
“Our Green Environment Action project is important to our community and us because climate change is everyone’s problem,” wrote Tokpassi Marius Esdras, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar from the University of Abomey Calavi in Benin. “For us, we bring our contribution in the fight against deforestation, extreme poverty, and the protection of women who are the most vulnerable. For the community, using our biofuels for cooking will reduce the harmful effects of climate change and diseases related to the smoke of wood and charcoal.
For Grace Yakubu, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, winning the SVC has made her realize that everyone can make a contribution. “Winning the SVC gives me an opportunity to learn and to lead, to be mentored and be a mentor and improve the lives of the underprivileged individuals in rural communities in Ghana and across the globe.”
“Winning the SVC has given us a stepping-stone towards achieving the mission, vision, and goals of Plastoils [a startup that converts plastic waste into more eco-friendly fuels such as diesel and kerosene]. Running a venture like this requires strong mentorship, leadership, management, and interpersonal skills,” wrote Simon Peter Walugyo, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at Makerere University in Uganda. “The fellowship will help us build all these skills professionally. The network of entrepreneurs we shall meet will open up opportunities for collaborations and service exchange as well as sharing business knowledge for the sustainability of our venture.”
The 2022 SVC Winners:
Green Environment Action – Benin
Juste Akpaki, Yaba Ilèloui Mèlanie Tchaffa, and Marius Esdras Tokpassi – University of Abomey Calavi
Green Environment Action will set up Energy Recovery Units to convert agricultural waste into clean energy, reducing deforestation and providing the local population with an alternative to wood and charcoal, which are often used for cooking.
RW Company Limited – Ghana
Yakubu Grace – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
RW Company will create economic opportunities for women in the Nalerigu district, North Eastern Ghana, by training them to produce, package, and distribute shea butter to local and international markets.
Casso-Agro Processing Limited – Amuca-Lira, Uganda
Acen Kamilla, Owiny Nelson, and Elenyu Shilla – Makerere University
Casso-Agro Processing Limited will buy surplus cassava and use solar dehydrators to turn it into flour. The venture will employ teenage mothers in Amuca Cell, Lira Northern Uganda.
Delish Foods Uganda – Kabagala Village, Masaka District, Uganda
Sauda Birungi, Rosemary Nabatanzi, and Gertrude Nampeera – Makerere University
Delish Foods Uganda will create a market for maize growers in Kabagala Village Masaka district by manufacturing nutritious maize-based instant baby porridge and confectioneries. The project aims to reduce food waste, provide employment, and improve overall nutrition for the community.
Hope For Youth Uganda – Western Region, Uganda
Twinomujurizi Mary and Kajuga Rogers – Makerere University
Hope for Youth Uganda (H4YU) is an agro-based initiative that seeks to increase the value of banana crops and minimize wastage, enabling farmers to increase their household incomes. The venture will create employment opportunities for young people in Rusheshe Village, Rukungiri district.
Nkoko Poultry Farm – Uganda
Ansel Ainebye and Naturinda Emmanuel – Makerere University
Nkoko Poultry Farm provides smallholder farmers with feed, training, and technology to raise poultry more effectively and connects them to markets to improve livelihoods.
Pearl API – Uganda
Nahwera Eufemia and Francis Ocaaki – Makerere University
Pearl API trains families in commercial beekeeping, providing them with the supplies needed to start honey production and connecting them to markets. With improved incomes, families can pay for school fees reducing dropout rates.
Plastoils – Uganda
Gloria Ayesiga, Lucy Nguna, and Simon Peter Walugyo – Makerere University
Plastoils aims to reduce pollution caused by plastics by melting them at high heat and converting them to more eco-friendly fuels such as diesel and kerosene.
Rabbit Zone Uganda Limited – Kikandwa-Wakiso District, Uganda
Noella Umurerwa – Makerere University
Rabbit Zone Uganda Limited introduces unemployed youth to rabbit husbandry as means to earn an income. The Rabbit Zone will provide training, three rabbits, and access to markets.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. It was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is an independent organization, and its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its own Board of Directors and senior leadership team. It is a registered Canadian charity with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Resolution Project
Resolution Project works with young people to build a lifetime of impact, starting today. At the core of our work is the Resolution Fellowship, which provides seed funding and lifelong support to promising young leaders on the path of social entrepreneurship. We identify these leaders early on, help them launch their first social impact ventures, and stick with them as they grow. This proven model has supported the growth of over 570 Fellows across six continents and over 80 countries. Through Resolution, social entrepreneurs who are just starting out receive unmatched guidance and wisdom from a team of partners, volunteers, and innovative peers around the globe.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Assistant Director of Communications, Resolution Project
Lead, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Communications