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24-year-old lands Sh16m deal in Blaze

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Nairobi session set to be held on September 30th at Nyayo National Stadium

The fourth edition of BLAZE SUMMITS run by Safaricom will be held in Nairobi at the Nyayo National Stadium on 30th September 2016, as benefits of the programme begin to show.  Just months after starting off, youth-owned businesses have started landing lucrative deals through the Blaze summits.

This follows successful summits in Eldoret, Thika and Nakuru that have hosted an estimated 20,000 youth so far.

The last three summits have enabled the youth in the three towns to access one on one engagement sessions with mentors across different fields such as Amana Insurance Brokers Ltd CEO, Ahmed Abdi, Mike Muthiga of Fatboy Animations and artistes Wangechi and King Kaka, among others.

“B.Y.O.B summits have not only opened my eyes to the potential of youth in this country but also opened up my business for partnerships I would never have thought possible six months ago,” said 24-year-old Wilkins Fadhili, CEO Fashion Torch Africa and one of the mentors who have been on the tour circuit.

“After the Eldoret Summit I was contacted by 1608 Creatives – an online global fashion incubation hub based in the United States and we signed a partnership agreement worth Ksh16.5 million.”

Fadhili explained with this money he will be able to achieve his company’s dream of giving funds, mentorship, office space, PR, marketing capacity and media coverage to more startup businesses, thus empower more young Kenyans to own their destinies.

During the day-long summit, there will be different pod sessions offering mentorship on various areas ranging from business, social enterprise, agriculture, entertainment, sports and arts. Other mentors who will participate in the Nairobi Summit include Michael Olulo, CEO and Creative Director at 56 Authentique, photographer Migwa Nthigah and Michelle Ntalami, founder of Marini Naturals and CEO of Brandvine Group.

“When we did our research on how we should communicate to the youth we discovered careers that we did not know existed. Today’s young people are unlike anything we have ever seen before; they are daring, unconventional and unapologetic and we have to speak their language,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director Consumer Business, Safaricom.

Funding competition

Ms Mulinge further explained that through the summits youth will get a chance to network and audition for the upcoming B.Y.O.B TV show which will see 12 contestants compete for a chance to win funding for their businesses. Other summits to take place after the Nairobi one will be in Mombasa and Kisumu consecutively. Entry into each summit costs Ksh 100 per person, redeemable for airtime or merchandise at the venue.

BLAZE – which cost Ksh 700 million to conceptualise, develop and launch – is the first platform of its kind in the East and Central African market to be co-created with the youth, for the youth.


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