Pamoja Founders Project Awards $15,000 Grants to Six African Enterprises

Pamoja Founders Project Awards $15,000 Grants to Six African Enterprises

Pamoja Founders Project Awards $15,000 Grants to Six African Enterprises

The Pamoja Founders Project, a regional leadership development initiative by IREX, the PepsiCo Foundation, and PepsiCo, has awarded $15,000 each to six leading African enterprises. This support follows a competitive pitch competition held in Nairobi, Kenya, after a four-day boot camp for Pamoja entrepreneurs. The winning enterprises, led by young innovators, address crucial food security challenges in their respective countries.

Winning Enterprises

The catalytic grants were awarded to:
– Dr. Akpem Shadrach, founder of Vet Konect, Nigeria
– Abdul de Almeida, co-founder of Crimas, Orza, and FAE, Mozambique
– Juliet Namwanje, founder of Ziimba, Uganda
– Brendah Nantongo, founder of Veathari Ventures Limited, Uganda
– Elizabeth Okullow, founder of Agriboom, Kenya
– Nathnael Tadesse, founder & CEO of Senaryo Trading Plc, Ethiopia

Program Overview

The Pamoja Founders Project aims to equip young entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and resources to scale their ventures. It offers comprehensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities, representing diverse food security solutions across Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Nigeria.

Closing Ceremony
The closing ceremony featured distinguished guests, including representatives from IREX, the PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo, Governor Sakaja Johnson of Nairobi City County, U.S. Embassy officials, and prominent business and social impact figures. Their presence highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in addressing food security challenges across Africa.

George Kogolla, Country Director for Kenya and East Africa at IREX, emphasized the celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit:
“We are here to celebrate and acknowledge the entrepreneurial spirits and journeys of the inaugural cohort of the Pamoja Founders Project. We also celebrate IREX and PepsiCo’s shared commitment to investing in promising young African leaders across the continent.”

Roshan Paul, Director of Leadership at IREX, praised the cohort’s dedication:
“This exceptional cohort exceeded our expectations with their passion, thoughtfulness, and commitment to advancing food security across Africa. Pamoja has affirmed that IREX’s investment in cultivating and supporting Africa’s future leaders is paying dividends.”

Wael Ismail, Vice President of Corporate Affairs in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA) at PepsiCo, highlighted PepsiCo’s commitment:

“We are committed to working with innovators and changemakers to catalyze and shape a more sustainable food system for Africa. Each of the Pamoja entrepreneurs’ ventures addressed critical challenges and we look forward to being an integral part of their journey to further success.”

Future Support

IREX will continue to support the entire cohort for the next three months as they complete the program. Post-project, the Pamoja Founders will join a vibrant, supportive pan-African network of IREX alumni, ensuring sustained engagement and development opportunities.