On 22nd February 2020 at Sote Hub, ten groups of budding entrepreneurs came to pitch their innovative business ideas on the topic of social enterprise. The prize for the top three: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their idea in a global competition held in Delware, USA. Winning this competition means a guarranteed investment into their chosen business idea.
The day started well with a confident pitch by a group from Kasigau Girls. Their business, Ijamii Global, centres around creating a website designed to make it easier to report cases of abuse. Unreported abuse is a huge problem in Kenya and has significant effect on the lives of victims, with one third of students not completing their education due to abuse. It is evident that Ijamii Global could provide a huge leap towards solving this issue.
Next up was a pitch by a group from St Thomas Girls planning to sell a fortified mushroom flour which boosts immunity. Their product aims to address several widespread medical issues, from malnutrition in children to poor maternal health, by boosting immune responses and providing key vitamins and nutrients. In addition, the mushrooms will be as affordable as possible so income will not restrict access.
Following this we had a presentation from St Mary’s Boys about PATA Goods Enterprise. Their business transports goods and shopping to students at school, particularly to those to attend boarding school. In doing so the business hopes to eliminate the issue of school supplies going missing in transit, and so improve the equipment students have access to at school.
Shortly after, another group from St Thomas Girls pitched their idea ‘Advance Farm Technology.” At present, the endangered Tilapia fish is imported into Kenya for consumption. The group plans to alter the temperature of the water in which this fish breeds to change individuals from male to female. By increasing the number of mating events, Tilapia populations will increase. This will help to meet consumer demand more sustainably as well as helping to save the species.
After this we had a presentation from the Mdakitars Wood Preservative team, a third group from St Thomas Girls. The team have an invented a new way of preventing termite infestations through a paint, spray or powder that can be applied directly to trees and other plants. What stands out about the product it that it is made from natural compounds and so is far more environmentally friendly than its competitors.
The sixth group, also from St Thomas Girls, presented their idea called “From Waste to Gold.” Their idea aims to help reverse high youth unemployment rates in Kilifi North Sub County by training them how to weld. This will be achieved by working closely with youth groups and learning institutions, ensuring young people have the relevant skills to access employment in welding.
Following this we had a incredible presentation from a Kanga Boys group who had invented a voice controlled robotic hand. They gave a fascinating pitch where they demonstrated how the hand moved at the command of a few simple words. Not only this but the robot understands 41 different languages, making the invention accessible to many around the world. The team primarily aims for the product to be used to help amputees and so help them recover from their injuries.
The eighth group, again from St Thomas Girls, delivered their idea of the Biotronic Laden Integrated Kit (BLINK). With the risks of terrorism and consequent security costs soaring, the group proposed a explosive device detector which can be carrier in military vehicles. This could help to identify bombs prior to their detonation, preventing devastating events from occurring in the first place.
Next up was a pitch presenting an Advanced Physics Teaching Aid Kit, delivered by the last group from St Thomas Girls. Many schools lack the adequate resources to teach physics to a good level, leading to poor exam results. The Advanced Physics Teaching Aid Kit aims to fix this problem by enabling science teachers to deliver more engaging physics lessons, for example by providing practical physics experiments that students can take part in.
The final group, the second group from Kasigau Girls, presented their idea of the UDtech Farm System. Their idea seeks to reduce hunger in Africa and beyond with a radical new piece of technology. Sensors on agricultural land detects soil moisture, pH and nutrient levels- if anything is in short supply, the farmer will receive an SMS and can address the problem. The technology would also include a highly innovative auto-irrigation feature.
After an intense build up, the Robotic Hand group from Kanga Boys claimed the second runners up place. In the first runners up place was the mushroom flour group from St Thomas Girls. Claiming the top prize, and a trip to the USA, was the UDTech Farm System group from Kasigau Girls! Well done to all groups for their great ideas and fantastic presentations, you did yourselves proud!