The Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award, sponsored by the Bata Shoe Foundation, is proud to announce its 5 finalists, chosen from over 100 young entrepreneurs pursuing responsible businesses in East Africa. Selected for their ability to address a community’s social need through a viable, sustainable business combined with commemorating the Thomas J. Bata family values, the finalists are competing to win an award of $15,000 US. Two runners up will each receive $5,000.
“I was impressed with the originality and creativity of the concepts presented in the applications, which all will add value to society and also create jobs at the same time,” said Sonja Bata, Chairman of the Bata Shoe Foundation. “I am also grateful for the many partners who have been a part of this Award. It would not have been possible to achieve this without the knowledgeable mentors and judges who know the needs of the market.”
During the next phase of the competition finalists will be paired with mentors from East Africa with expertise in entrepreneurship who will help them prepare their final proposal to the Bata Shoe Foundation. The mentors will stay with the entrepreneurs for the following year to support the development of their businesses.
GreenChar: Alternative energy in cooking practices, Kenya
Team: Tom Osborn Chief Executive Oﬃcer, Yina Sun Head of Operations, Ian Oluoch Finance Director, Brian Kirotich Marketing & Tech
The developers of the Green Char provide agricultural waste cooking briquettes designed to be healthier, safer and cheaper for consumers. Green Char briquettes, made from recycled bagasse (sugar cane husks) are nearly smokeless, more energy dense and longer lasting than wood and coal. Green Char’s smokeless briquettes combat the health risks associated with coal ovens, while also reducing deforestation. Green Char hopes to expand into creating products, which repel mosquitoes and a next generation of safer, cleaner ovens.
KARIBU Solar Power: “Business in a box,” Tanzania
Team: Adam Camenzuli & Sameer Gulamani
The creators of Karibu have designed a solar powered business in a box. Their business strives to provide a safer, cheaper, and more socially responsible solar alternative to kerosene lighting. Engineered for grassroots success and local empowerment, the Karibu system consists of a 2W solar panel and two rechargeable “hockey puck” batteries designed to provide a night’s worth of lighting. Local Karibu distributors will rent hockey pucks to consumers, charging one hockey puck while the consumer uses the second. This distribution system strengthens local business, while providing safer and healthier lighting.
STAWI: Food and fruit processing company, Kenya
Team: Eric Muthomi Founder & CEO, Kent Libiso Chairman, Sangu Delle Director
Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited, founded by Eric Muthomi, provides high quality processed foods through sustainable and equitable farmer relations. Seeking to combat agricultural waste from foods such as bananas, which can spoil before making it to market, Stawi processes perishable fruits, grains, and cereals into gluten free flour. This flour, with a higher market demand and shelf life, increases food security, increases farmer income, and reduces waste. Small holder farmers, whose crops are most at risk for perishing, and rural consumers, most at risk for malnutrition, receive the sharpest benefits from Stawi foods.
The Designers Studio Limited: Fashion magazine and retailer, Kenya
Individual: Wanjiku Nyoike-Mugo
The Designer Studio (TDS) produces a series of online magazines, fashion shows and media buys which present local fashion as a better alternative to international brands. This marketing drives consumers to TDS’s online store and future retail spaces stocked only with Kenyan designed and produced goods, which benefits the local Kenyan economy. This higher demand for local goods, driven in large part by an increasingly wealthy, fashion forward population, further strengthens the Kenyan fashion and clothing industry.
BIO-INNOVATIONS: Alternative energy. Uganda
Team: Stephen Birikano, Alex Tumukunde
Bio-Innovation Company LTD challenges Uganda’s terrible deforestation issue – 80% of natural forest area has been destroyed since 1960 – by creating a bio-renewable cooking and heating briquette derived from bio-waste. These briquettes, organic municipal solid waste amalgamations, are a lower cost, safer and environmental safer alternative to wood and coal fires. Targeting women and youth as employees, Bio-Innovation Company empowers local rural communities while freeing up consumers’ discretionary income by undercutting current heating and cooking costs.