Sahara Foundation Approves Seed Funding for Young Innovators

Sahara Group Foundation, the corporate social sustainability vehicle for Sahara Group, continues its unwavering commitment to support young African social innovators and entrepreneurs. This commitment was underscored by the provision of seed funding to 10 outstanding Fellows from its Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) Fellowship programme.

The Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme, a social initiative in partnership with LEAP Africa and Impact Amplifier, was established to empower young African social innovators whose enterprises are dedicated to improving access to clean energy and sustainable environments across the continent.

In its third year, the Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme welcomed a total of 20 fellows from various African countries who participated in a rigorous six-month fellowship. The top 10 fellows have each been awarded $5,000 in seed funding to support the expansion of their socially impactful businesses.

During the programme’s closing ceremony, the Director, Sahara Group Foundation, Ejiro Gray, praised the fellows for their remarkable dedication and resilience throughout the programme. She emphasised that “the Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship Programme was established to bolster Africa’s development by identifying and empowering young, creative social innovators working to create sustainable environments and bridge the energy gap in Africa.”

Ejiro Gray congratulated all 20 Fellows for their programme completion and urged them to apply the knowledge and experiences gained to deliver lasting impact across Africa through their businesses.

The top ten recipients of this year’s seed funding from West Africa include: Paul Nnaluo, Founder, Gas Monkey (Nigeria); Kehinde Fashola, Founder, Fizzle Power Tech Limited (Nigeria); Muideen Adegoke, Founder, DigitAgric Integrated Limited (Nigeria).

Other regions beneficiaries include: Andrew Mpashi, Co-Founder, Twalima Agro Solutions Limited (Zambia); Philipo Kitungano, Founder, Kigoma Eco-cultural Tourism Enterprise (Tanzania); Ainomugisha Shifra, Founding Director, SOLAFAM Uganda (Uganda); Joyce Rugano, Founder, EcoRich Solutions (Kenya); Muofhe Ratshikombo, CEO, Oumie’s Grandè (South Africa); Timothy Munthali, Founder, Tawonga Cooking Oil Processing Enterprise (Malawi); Jolis Nduwimana, Executive Director, WEGE Company (Burundi).

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Director, LEAP Africa, Kehinde Ayeni, congratulated the Fellows for their successful programme completion and encouraged them to persevere in their commitment to innovation and social progress. She emphasized that the investment in their growth by Sahara Group Foundation and LEAP Africa reflects confidence in their potential and the power of their ideas to advance Africa’s development.

In his remarks on behalf of the graduating Fellows, Paul Nnaluo thanked Sahara Group Foundation and LEAP Africa for this inspiring learning experience. He expressed gratitude for the invaluable knowledge and skills acquired during the fellowship and pledged to utilize them for meaningful change.

The Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme has since its launch in 2020, directly invested in over 50 African social innovators. Through strategic initiatives like this, Sahara Group Foundation is dedicated to sustainably improving lives and livelihoods across Africa.

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