PRESS RELEASE: 30 Emerging Social Entrepreneurs Win Social Venture Challenge at Mastercard Foundation’s Baobab Summit

Thirty emerging social entrepreneurs won the Resolution Social Venture Challenge (SVC), which took place at the Baobab Summit an annual convening for Mastercard Foundation Scholars. Selected from among 90 competitors, Scholars competed virtually in a multi-step competition designed to recognize and celebrate young leaders committed to social change in Africa and beyond.  

This collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project, now in its sixth year, provides entrepreneurial and socially responsible Scholars with a pathway to bolster their social enterprises and deepen community impact. Social entrepreneurship is one pathway to creating work opportunities for young people, and a key pillar of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, especially young women, to access work opportunities that they consider to be dignified and fulfilling.

“We are honoured to be the first believers in so many outstanding young leaders,” said Oliver Libby, Chair & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. “The Social Venture Challenge not only unlocks seed funding for 15 social ventures, but also marks the very beginning of a journey towards social responsibility for all 30 of these talented young social entrepreneurs across Africa. The Resolution Fellowship is so much more than just a grant; it is a lifelong Fellowship consisting of mentorship, resources, and access to a global community of like-minded changemakers. We cannot wait to help these young leaders express their leadership and imbue their lives with impact.”

“Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Social Venture Challenge. It takes creativity, determination, and resilience for these young entrepreneurs to reimagine their projects during a pandemic and to continue giving back,” said Duaa Mohamed, Lead, Transformative Leadership, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. “We also wish to thank The Resolution Project for their steadfast belief in the potential of young people, for facilitating a virtual pitch competition for Scholars from around the world, and for equipping them with the professional and tangible skills they need to make an enduring impact.”

Over the past six years, 143 Mastercard Foundation Scholars have won the Social Venture Challenge. As Resolution Fellows, they have gone on to implement 76 social ventures across 19 countries and those ventures have grown to positively impact more than 50,000 people.

Winning projects across the continent, including Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Somalia, and Benin address a wide range of issues that Scholars have observed first-hand in their communities.

For Plastic Venture Founder, Jimcale Farah, winning this year’s SVC means continuing his work to divert and re-use plastic in Somaliland. “We have been recycling plastic waste to create a clean environment. Within the last year, we have recycled almost 720 kilograms of plastic bags and bottles that would otherwise end up on the streets and clog the drainage system,” said Jimcale Farah, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the African Leadership University. “Winning the SVC is a sign of hope for us. It means that we will recycle more plastics, scale up our paving blocks production, and create a clean environment for our community. Winning means that our vision of creating a clean environment for our community in Somaliland is coming true.”

In Zambia, Dorcas Lukwesa, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at EARTH University, and Founder of Mobile Aquaponics, is also focused on mitigating the impact of climate change while supporting women and girls. “We are excited to be part of the Resolution Fellowship network of like-minded young people who are working in various countries addressing similar issues like ourselves,” said Dorcas Lukwesa. “This award will enable our project to start supporting rural women farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices to improve productivity and build resilience to climate change. We project to reach over 2,000 rural women farmers over the next five years. We hope that our farmers will be able to replicate the idea by building their own aquaponics systems using locally available bamboo and improving agricultural production and livelihoods, so that no girl will spend a term out of school because of lack of school fees or a uniform.”

Congratulations to the winning teams!

Achievers Poultry Uganda, Nakangu Christine and Aisha Nalumansi, Makerere University

Achievers Poultry Uganda empowers youth who have dropped out of school by training them to raise and sell poultry, and providing access to soft loans, financial literacy skills, and markets.  

COOMUA (Our Boys), Joy Kafua, Makerere University

COOMUA is a skill-building hub in the West Nile Region of Uganda providing mentorship and training opportunities to boys in underserved communities to help them improve their job prospects.  

Golden Waste Initiative, Royford Mutegi and Diana Njuguna, EARTH University

Golden Waste Initiative promotes an integrated waste management system in Nairobi, Kenya by raising awareness among farmers around vermicomposting through workshops and providing additional employment opportunities.   

LightUganda, Nyeko Agech, Oyella Gladys, and Beatrice Laker, Makerere University

LightUganda provides financial literacy, leadership training, and poultry farming skills to teenage mothers in the Pella Wicere village in Uganda to improve their economic opportunities.

Mobile Aquaponics, Dorcas Lukwesa, EARTH University

Mobile Aquaponics aims to help smallholder farmers, especially women in Luapula Province, Zambia to address the issue of poverty and food insecurity by providing training in aquaponic farming, an alternative farming method using the cultivation of fish and vegetables in a constructed recirculating ecosystem using recycled and easily available materials.

Mushroom Hill, Kaahwa Christopher and Kayiteesi Rebecca, Makerere University

Mushroom Hill will provide households in Fort Portal City, Uganda with children who dropped out school because of the pandemic, with training in mushroom growing, availing spawns, and markets so they can increase their income and afford school fees.

Organomineral Fertilizer, Duplicate Sambani, EARTH University

The goal of Organomineral Fertilizer is to increase food production, end hunger and poverty, and create jobs in Buhera, Zimbabwe by using smart fertilizers which combine organic and inorganic matter.

PerculierAI, Success Awuku Amador, Emmanuel Nyatefe, and Diana Rashid, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

PerculierAI is an Artificial Intelligence drone technology designed for the early detection of cocoa black pod disease in Kumasi, Ghana. Using a mobile application, PercuilierAI provides information on the steps to be taken at the pre-harvesting stage of cocoa production to improve crop yields.

Plastic Venture, Jimcale Faarah, African Leadership University (ALU)

Through recycling, Plastic Venture aims to create a clean environment and address the waste crisis in Hargeisa, Somalia by turning plastic waste into affordable, sustainable paving blocks.

Recyling Care Tyre for Furniture (RECATYREF), Hanifa Fuseini, Zawi Sulley Fuseini, and  Barikisu Nasiru, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

RECATYREF is an initiative that aims to reduce landfill space in the Ashanti Region, Ghana by producing furniture from discarded car tires. The venture provides library furniture, shelves, school desks among other stationery at reasonable prices to ensure equal opportunity for all.

SomHumus, Saciid Guure, African Leadership University (ALU)

SomHumus aims to address the waste crisis impacting Hargiesa, Somaliland by providing a composting service for organic material waste to restaurants and households, as well as a low cost, high-quality compost to farmers, who will also be trained on composting their own waste.

Think About Life (TAL) YOUTH UGANDA, Sylvia Akurut, Onapa Ambrose and Acaye Opio, Makerere University

TAL (Think About Life) Youth Uganda is an economic empowerment venture in northern Uganda that buys surplus sweet potatoes and turns them into delicious, nutritious donuts. TAL will create a production plant to recruit, train, and employ unemployed women to bake the donuts and youth will be employed to sell them at local markets.

The Piglet Seed, Anil Ayebare and Owomugisha Fortunate, Makerere University

The Piglet Seed plans to work with teen mothers and address poverty in Mbarara City, Uganda by donating piglets to be raised and used as an alternative and sustainable form of income.

TOP FARM, Irëne Bossavi and Roger Tcharo, University of Abomey-Calavi

Top Farm will provide a demonstration farm agribusiness to train young people with limited employment opportunities in poultry farming and horticulture in The venture aims to enable students to create their own farming business, train those who have dropped out of school, lower the cost of animal production, and promote entrepreneurship.

WEEU, Janepher Matini, Alicia Namakula and Florence Namubiru, Makerere University

WEEU aims to empower women by establishing a vocational and incubation centre in Kiwenda, Uganda, which will provide financial literacy courses and training in maggot farming.

[L-R] Kayiteesi Rebecca, Joy Kafua, Nyeko Agech, Alicia Namakula , Janepher Matini, Florence Namubiru, Success Awuku Amador, Diana Rashid, Hanifa Fuseini, Barikisu Nasiru, Zawi Sulley Fuseini, Kaahwa Christopher, Duplicate Sambani, Oyella Gladys, Sylvia Akurut, Onapa Ambrose, Acaye Opio, Beatrice Laker, Royford Mutegi, Roger Tcharo, Irëne Bossavi, Anil Ayebare, Aisha Nalumansi, Nakangu Christine, Diana Njuguna, Dorcas Lukwesa, Saciid Guure, Owomugisha Fortunate, Jimcale Faarah, Emmanuel Nyatefe.


The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and 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. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

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The Resolution Project is a unique pathway to action for aspiring young leaders committed to changing the world. Founded in 2007, Resolution identifies, equips, and empowers promising young leaders with the support, skills, and funding they need to make a positive impact today. Resolution discovers young social entrepreneurs through Social Venture Challenges held at undergraduate youth conferences around the world, such as the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and others. Resolution enables the winners of its competitions to make a positive impact through Resolution Fellowships, which include dynamic, hands-on support, mentorship, and grants to implement their social ventures. Over 600 Resolution Fellows, in 84 countries on all six inhabited continents (including all across the United States) are working on over 370 social ventures in high-impact fields such as water, food, sustainable development, education, energy and the environment, equality and empowerment, health and wellness, and humanitarian relief. Their efforts have benefitted 2.9 million people and counting. Supporting our Fellows are over 500 volunteers, a dedicated staff, and dozens of partners from the public and private sectors. Together, we are building a generation of leaders with a commitment to social responsibility

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Mastercard Foundation

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