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2018 Governors StartUp Challenge in Numbers

72 young people in Mombasa and the neighboring counties are inspired to innovate and foster change in their communities as a result of the newly launched Governors StartUp Challenge (GSC), a flagship program of the Youth Empowerment Program Initiative (YEPI) that is working to accelerate a shift towards an entrepreneurship society hence tackling poverty, creating jobs as well as preventing & countering violent extremism in Mombasa, Kenya. GSC is an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem hub designed to help young entrepreneurs in Mombasa to learn, design and earn by building sustainable businesses while at the same time developing new solutions to community challenges.

YEPI received 72 eligible applications – in its first year! – of the 2018 Governors StartUp Challenge which seeks to promote and develop tailor-made approaches to scale and support innovative and sustainable youth-led businesses that combat extreme poverty, environment, leadership, maritime, health and education challenges in Mombasa, Kenya. Through the GSC program, young people from all over Mombasa, from Kisauni to Likoni are inspired to solve community challenges with creative and innovative entrepreneurship approach.

National Reach

Regardless of the county or origin of the applicants – men or women, in business or just an idea – youth showed strong interest in GSC 2018. YEPI received applications from Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Nairobi. Men submitted the most applications (67%) compared to women (33%).

Topics of Interest

The most popular project theme, with 31% applications was environment. 21% focused on educational development. 13% youth proposed activities to fostering good leadership and governance, 11% youth seek to advance health, 6% technology and innovation and the other 18% solves challenges in agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing, ecommerce, fintech and art.

In the coming weeks, YEPI and its Partners will review and evaluate these projects, and select the 10 most promising, innovative and locally led start-up enterprises that are making significant contributions to mitigating or solving community challenges. These young entrepreneurs will attend a five days intensive entrepreneurship boot camp to equip them with skills to design, test and launch their businesses. Upon successful completion of the Governors StartUp Challenge, the first, second and third runup entrepreneurs will receive equity funding to scale or launch their innovative businesses. The 2018 GSC Winners will be announced and awarded during the YEPI 3RD Annual Entrepreneurship and Networking Forum. Follow #GSC2018 and @YepiYouth on social media for updates. Thanks to our great partners and YEPI Community for making our first year’s competition such a success!