Shaping the Future of Their Continent: Supporting Africa’s Social Entrepreneurs

“It’s a great opportunity for us to represent the problems we have been facing and how we are planning to solve them.”

– Jaffalie Twaibu, Mastercard Foundation Scholar on the Social Venture Challenge, a partnership with The Resolution Project, a competition that rewards compelling leadership and promising social ventures led by youth.

Africa is a young continent and its growing workforce faces limited opportunities for employment. But this demographic shift presents an opportunity for solutions that are driven by the entrepreneurialism of its young people.

  • Seventy-five percent of Africa’s population is under 35.
  • The population is expected to grow at a rate of six percent per year over the next two decades.

There is a growing entrepreneurial culture in Africa, driven by young people who, more and more, see creating their business as a good career path. Africa’s young entrepreneurs are creating socially responsible enterprises that are generating jobs. Supporting their development as leaders is a critical part of our Young Africa Works strategy.

Resolution Project’s Social Venture Challenge

Our partnership with the Resolution Project provides entrepreneurs in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program with seed funding, mentorship, and access to a network of innovators seeking social change.

Since 2016, more than 30 winners of the Social Venture Challenge have gone on to improve the lives of others.

  • In Ghana, Happy Home Eco-Sanitation Company/Services has partnered with Ashesi University to build a 7-unit toilet facility at Berekuso Basic School, which will benefit about 1,000 people, as well as a standalone toilet facility in Berekuso for EduCare, a nursery school, which will serve 30 children under the age of 10.
  • In Zimbabwe, the Little Dreamers Foundation anticipates its first cohort of 12 girls by January 2019 and continues to develop its poultry project, which will feed the children once they are registered in preschool and will reduce school fees for vulnerable families.
  • In Uganda, Sparky Dehydrator has designed a food-drying technology to address food insecurity. The venture has trained 400 farmers and sold 22 food dryers, 18 of which are currently used by farmers in five districts across the country.

“As much as a brilliant solution and a great team are needed to solve a difficult problem, accessing funds is highly essential for young leaders like ourselves,” says Kwabena Adu-Darkwa, a Scholar at Ashesi University College and the co-founder of Happy Home Eco-Sanitation Services.

Related Content

  • Mastercard Foundation Announces New Fund to Seed Young African Leaders’ Social Ventures

    The Mastercard Foundation recently announced a new US$2M pilot that will enable young changemakers in the Scholars Program to seed and kick-start promising social ventures and community projects, creating economic opportunities for themselves and others.

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  • Transforming Youth Employment Through Social Entrepreneurship

    Through the Foundation’s partnership with Ashoka on the Future Forward initiative, social entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa identify the root cause of challenges and tackle them with innovative and practical solutions.

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