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Meet the 2018 Class of the Governors StartUp Challenge.

These young entrepreneurs represent some of the best and brightest startups in Mombasa, Kenya who are working to improve the communities around them.

The 2018 Governors StartUp Challenge Finalists representing five counties are:

Image: Khadija Abdalla, Ken Gitonga, Kezia Oloo, Esther Neema, Michael Kiwo and Abdul Majid.

Our young entrepreneurs represent the Kenya’s start-ups, as well as ideas. They take nothing for granted and pursue big ambitions. In the health sector, Abdulrahman Alwy’s technology Company aims to revolutionize health service delivery by increasing life expectancy through his Electronic Health Records platform. He aims to digitize all health records in hospitals leveraging cloud storage to make the information available for patients and doctors at any public and private hospitals in Kenya. In the end, this will increase operational efficiency and patient satisfaction.

In the technology and education space, Ken Gitonga, a graduate at Technical University of Mombasa aged 23, launched the first e-bursary platform through his company Kenly Hub in order to simplify the process of bursary application for needy and bright students. The system, now used by Technical University of Mombasa and Molo Constituency, aims to improve education and address issues of bias, discrimination and corruption in government offices, by helping students and parents apply and receive bursaries without needing an inside connection. He plans to automate the bursary application process in at least 60% of the counties across Kenya.

Michael Kiwo is tackling the issue of garbage menace in Mombasa, where 2,000 tons is produced daily. He started Polucare Cleaners in 2017 with the aim of conserving the environment by providing hygienic and waste management services to Mombasa Residents. Mike hopes to reduce the spread of diseases such as cholera and the recent outbreak of Chikungunya caused by poor waste management practices. He is currently employing three vulnerable youth and serves commercial and residential buildings within Mombasa.

Kezia Oloo is a girl child champion and a social entrepreneur in the fashion industry. She brings affordable alternative solution to the waste problem in Mombasa by producing custom made designed shoes, bags and designer clothes out of waste destined to the landfill. She has been featured in both local and international media such as BBC World News, CGTN Africa and NTV Kenya.

Khadija Abdallah is a courageous and energetic young woman. She is the Founder of WAYODI (Women Youth and People With Disabilities), a social enterprise which promotes entrepreneurship among youths, women and people with disability by equipping them with skills such as baking and pastry, woven mats, and production of khaki bags as an alternative to the banned plastic bags. She hopes to gain intensive knowledge on entrepreneurship, leadership and networking skills from YEPI in order to improve the living standard of the marginalize people in her community.

Our Young Entrepreneurs are industry disruptors and confront the status quo. They are social innovators, change ambassadors and agents of the under-represented. Ebby Weyime, an actress and model turned entrepreneur brings affordable and reusable menstrual cup that can last up to 10 years, challenging the historical inadequate menstrual health management. Through ‘Adopt a Cup’ campaign, Ebby seeks to provide 100,000 school girls aged 10-18 with environmental friendly, menstrual hygiene product known as the Grace Cup as an alternative for pads and tampons.

Glen Owese co-founded ONYX, a social e-commerce platform that allows people and businesses to buy and sell securely wherever they are while offering an opportunity for businesses and brands to market, advertise and interact with consumers. He seeks to empower local merchants to execute business on a digital platform. Their target customers are brands, companies and individuals who want to engage customers on emerging online platforms like OLX and Jumia.

Brian Were is a student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology undertaking a BsC. Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics. He addresses the issue of environmental pollution through his Begi Bora Company which seeks to promote recycling by producing affordable, eco-friendly carriage bags out of disposed baby diapers which pauses a harm to the environment and community.

Meanwhile, some of our notable nominees in creative industries include:

Esther Neema, a journalist and actress with over 5 years’ experience in the Media Industry. She is the Founder of The Network, a co-working space that will bring together innovators and entrepreneurs to network, collaborate and exchange ideas thus forming a business tribe that will grow the economy and impact societies through creation of employment. And finally, Abdul Majid, whose creative media agency is already penetrating the Mombasa Markets, intend to start a digital content channel for producing content in areas such as news, entertainment and documentaries while at the same time exposing the beauty of Mombasa to the outside world. Abdul will use the YEPI program to gain mentorship build network and scale his bus