[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wenty-on-year-old Kenyan Peter Wachira has won $100,000 (about Kh10.3M) in an entrepreneurship competition held at the Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya.  Mr Wachira manufactures locally sourced ceramic water purification filters to end waterborne diseases.

Ezinne Uko (Nigeria) and Peter Wachira (Kenya) were selected as the two winners of the Ksh20.5 million (US$200,000) Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition held on Friday at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Both walked away with a Ksh10.24 million (US$100 000) investment, a similar amount in credit facility from Equity Bank Kenya, and a two week mentorship at Kwesé’s headquarters in South Africa with Strive Masiyiwa, founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Global. The 10 runners up each receive Ksh1.02 million (US$10 000) investment in their ventures.

Following two days of intense training sessions at the Nairobi Garage with experienced mentors in business, innovation and entrepreneurship including Sebastian Wafula (The Wafula Corporation Limited), Patricia Jumi (Growth Africa), Grant Brooke (Twiga Foods), Peter Park (Connect Health) and Jussi Hinkkanen (Fuzu) Ezinne and Peter have taken the grand prize from a group of 12 finalists from DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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Finalists also had pre-finale pitches and received feedback on how to better present their businesses/ventures from Esther Ndeti (Executive Director East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association), Julian Kyula (Founder MODE) and Kevin Mulei (Founder and CEO Mo Sound Events) in the lead up to the grand finale.

At an event co-hosted by Terryanne Chebet (Founder/CEO Keyara Organics) and Larry Madowo (NTV anchor) on Friday afternoon, the finalists (six men and six women) each had three minutes to pitch their ventures to a live panel of judges comprising Ndidi Nwuneli (Founder at LEAPAfrica), Clive Msipha (CEO, Untu Capital Limited) and Juliana Rotich (co-founder of Ushahidi, and Tech Partner, Africa Tech Ventures).

Judged on their business/non-profits’ sustainability, originality, social benefit, and scalability as well as votes garnered from the general public in a month-long social media voting phase which closed on 30 November 2017, Contrail Stores and A Remote Youth Venture impressed the judges and will walk away with a $100 000 injection into their business/venture from Mr Masiyiwa.

As one of the largest entrepreneurship competitions on the African continent, it attracted over 4800 competition entries, 50 million social media shares and over 200 000 web page visits.

The winners endured, and their businesses will not only benefit financially but, as first-ever Kwesé Fellows, they will also continue to receive best business/venture practices from Mr Masiyiwa for the duration of their mentorship program.

Kwesé Inc and Liquid Telecom (sister companies of Econet Global) sponsored Friday’s #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition grand finale at Strathmore and then took part as partners at a powerful discussion hosted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Growth, founded and managed by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School and funded by the Bill and  Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Moderated by Lorna Irungu-Macharia (CEO Gina Din Group) Friday’s Tech & Entrepreneurship Town Hall addressed a wide range of topics including how emerging technologies can best be harnessed by entrepreneurs, the private sector and governments both to create jobs and wealth, and to tackle long-standing economic and social development problems, particularly in developing countries.

Panelists included the pioneer behind the #GoGettaz competition, Strive Masiyiwa (co-Chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission) and special guest James Mwangi (CEO, Equity Bank Kenya) along with Fellow Pathways for Prosperity Commissioners, Shivani Siroya (founder and CEO of Tala), Kamal Bhattacharya (Chief Innovation Officer of Safaricom).

“At our eighth Africa Entrepreneurship Town Hall today, we had hundreds of people from different walks of life, all in the same room, all focused on solutions for the future: top business leaders, government officials, technology experts, academics, students… all thinking about how new technologies can help rather than harm society,” said Masiyiwa.

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“We also had about 2 million people online through Facebook LIVE: new voices with new questions and new ideas.”

“And last but definitely not least we had our 12 young entrepreneurs from across Africa tackling prosperity in a different way, one business innovation at a time!”

“Today is how we build for Africa’s century and end poverty globally.  Together we listen, we innovate and we take action — with data and vision, and without delay.”

To inspire upcoming entrepreneurs and pave the way for new generation innovators, the #GoGettaz competition finals will be broadcast on Kwesé Inc, an exclusive channel for entrepreneurs on the pay TV platform Kwesé TV, now available in over 10 countries with more to launch in the month ahead.

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