2020 Governors Startup Challenge in Numbers

Youth Empowerment Program Initiative (YEPI), a youth-led organisation from Mombasa, has received a record number of 175 applications for the third edition of the Governors Startup Challenge (GSC) from 19 counties across Kenya.

Held annually, the Governors Startup Challenge is a flagship program of YEPI which brings together 10 best and brightest entrepreneurs, aged 18-35 from across the Coast Region of Kenya to compete and design new solutions to community challenges. GSC is working to accelerate a shift towards an entrepreneurship society hence tackling poverty, creating jobs and preventing and countering violent extremism in the Coastal Region of Kenya. This is an innovative flagship program of YEPI designed to help young entrepreneurs to learn, design and earn by building sustainable businesses while at the same time developing new solutions to community challenges.


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 the 2020 Governors Startup Challenge recording a 33% increase in the applications compared to last year. YEPI received applications from Nairobi and other counties too. Men submitted the most applications (62%) compared to women (38%). Mombasa County recorded the highest number of applicants with 44% followed by Kilifi County at 11%. Kwale 7%, Taita Taveta 4%, Lamu 2%, Tana River 1% and other counties 32%.


Topics of Interest

The most popular project theme, with 24% applications was Technology. Educational development and Environmental Conservation recorded 15% each. 10% of the applicants proposed activities to fostering the opportunities in the Health, 10% youth seek to advance Agribusiness, 9% Art, Fashion and Creativity and others 13%.

In the coming weeks, YEPI and Partners will review and evaluate these applications, and select 10 most promising, innovative and locally led start-up enterprises that are making significant contributions to mitigating or solving community challenges through their social enterprises. The selected entrepreneurs will travel to Diani from 19 – 24th July to participate in a 7-day boot camp of intensive business development program including; entrepreneurship and innovation, peer to peer learning, networking, collaborative session, panel discussions and mentoring session. The Boot camp culminate in a live pitch competition before a panel of expert judges, to decide who will receive equity funding of KES 100,000 to help them launch or scale their businesses that highlight profitability, social impact and sustainability.

The Winner(s) will be awarded during the 5th Annual YEPI Entrepreneurship Summit (YESMombasa2021) on Saturday February, 6th 2021. Follow #GSC2020, @YepiYouth and @YEPI_GSC on social media for updates. Thanks to our great partners and YEPI Community for making our third year competition such a success!

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