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Congratulations! 2018 Governors StartUp Challenge Finalist

After an intense three months recruitment process that attracted 72 applicants from around Kenya, Youth Empowerment Program Initiative (YEPI) is excited to announce the 2018 Governors StartUp Challenge Finalist.

These 10 finalists represent some of the best and most promising social entrepreneurs, artists, technologist and business leaders from the Coast region of Kenya. They are joining the YEPI Community and one-year of intensive business development program that includes a substantive hands-on learning experience, mentorship and linkages to networking and funding opportunities that will challenge them to think beyond their businesses and be more impactful social entrepreneurs. They were selected by a competent selection committee of mentors based on their ground-breaking work, market opportunity, innovative approaches to solve community challenges and potential to mobilize resources to scale their businesses/ideas to the next level.

Looking across the Governors StartUp Challenge finalist selected for the Class of 2018, gives optimism that the next generation of young entrepreneurs from the Coast Region have emerged and are ready to tackle complex challenges surrounding their communities.

Youth Empowerment Program Initiative (YEPI) established the Governors StartUp Challenge in February 2018, to promote entrepreneurship ecosystem and develop innovative, tailor-made approaches to scale and support youth-led businesses that combat extreme poverty, environment, leadership, maritime, health and education challenges in Mombasa. Each year, YEPI will select the most enterprising, innovative, socially minded, and exceptional entrepreneurs from Mombasa and the neighboring counties under the age of 35.

The 10 Finalist will undergo a five-days intensive entrepreneurship boot camp underpinned by the principle of integrity, respect, inclusivity, diversity and impact. At the Bootcamp, this select group will be equipped with skills such as design thinking entrepreneurship, business model, financials, leadership among others. They will also be exposed to opportunities that build their expertise and extend their skills, form partnerships, and take action through a variety of activities including entrepreneurship and innovation, peer to peer networking, keynotes, pitching, collaborative workshops, open discussions and mentoring sessions.

The Bootcamp will culminate in a live pitch before a panel of expert judges, to decide who will receive equity funding to help them launch or scale their businesses back home. The winners will be awarded during the Third Annual YEPI Entrepreneurship Summit. By the end of the five-days entrepreneurship boot camp, the goal is for the youth to tap into their innovation and entrepreneurial potential, feel confident, prepared, and supported to take action - whether its starting or scaling their businesses, driving partnerships for greater impact or pitching to investors, government or business leaders. The GSC journey focuses on cultivating innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem hub that helps young entrepreneurs in Mombasa to learn, design and earn by building sustainable businesses while at the same time developing new solutions to community challenges.