Reimagining Social Ventures During COVID-19

2020 Social Venture Challenge winners share their journey

The Social Venture Challenge is a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project. The challenge provides pathways to action for Scholars, young African leaders with a plethora of ideas, energy, and a commitment to drive positive social change in their communities. Resolution Project offers Fellowships to winning teams of social entrepreneurs providing them with access to the necessary resources, funding and mentorship required to run their Social Venture projects. 

The winners of the 2020 Social Venture Challenge. Mastercard Foundation Scholars from across Africa competed to win The Resolution Project Fellowship which includes seed funding, mentorship and networking opportunities

The Foundation sees social entrepreneurship as one pathway to creating employment opportunities in the continent. Entrepreneurial skills development, as a component of tertiary education, helps Scholars grow their transformative leadership skills and mindsets while running socially responsible enterprises. In addition to addressing social challenges in their communities, Scholars are creating job opportunities for their peers and learning a myriad of transferable skills that are invaluable whether entrepreneurship is their final destination or just part of the journey. Supporting young entrepreneurs is a critical pillar in the Young Africa Works strategy. 

As this year’s Social Venture Challenge teams prepare to pitch their ventures to a panel of judges, we revisit a few of last year’s teams to see how they are faring and what role reimagining and resilience have played in their entrepreneurship journey. 

A Hand for a Refugee: Safali Libia, Kataike Viola, and Kevin Wanai at Makerere University in Uganda

A Hand For a Refugee aims to raise refugee welfare and ensure sustainable support for education among refugee teenagers in the Kyangwali refugee community by providing training for passion fruit farming, a market for the fruit they grow, and financial literacy training along with savings and credit support. Read about their journey.

FONA Health Initiative: Samson Idabu at the University of Cape Town in South Africa

Fona Health Initiative is a community education project based in Tanzania that trains vulnerable youth and rural communities about nutritional education and nutritional supplements. It also provides them with the tools and knowledge to produce a pumpkin seed and chickpea supplement. Read about their journey.

ISOKOFARM: Kevin Gansa and Lawali Ghislain at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon

Operating out of Kigali, Rwanda, ISOKOFARM is a mobile app startup that allows the exchange of relevant information between farmers and marketers. This platform aims to address the shortcomings of inefficient and unreliable physical markets. Read about their journey.

Kibera Canaan Library and Youth Empowerment Centre: Grace Bako and Doris Mwangi at the University of Cape Town in South Africa

Kibera-Caanan Library and Youth Empowerment Centre aims to provide free access to books, mentorship, and technical skills training for youth in Kibera, Kenya to improve literacy and create job opportunities. Read about their journey.

Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub: Ofori Richard and Yamoah Veronica at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana

The Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub seeks to ignite the desire of students to pursue STEM majors at the tertiary level, slow school dropout rates and improve academic performance. Read about their journey.