A total of 5 Senegalese entrepreneurs will receive six months of business incubation and $2,000 of funding through the Senegal Start-Up Accelerator.
This initiative by Kosmos Innovation Centre and Reach for Change identifies and helps grow young Senegalese entrepreneurs with innovative tech solutions that could solve the challenges facing the agriculture sector.
The five winning entrepreneurs are Mouhamadou Lamine Kebe of Tool Bi, whose electronic innovation facilitates irrigation and improves yields; Mame Diarra Sarr of Fraisen/Waalu Ma Aagri, who has developed an efficient way of producing organic strawberries locally and affordably; Abdourahmane Diop of Jappandil, which connects farmers to qualified agricultural experts, service providers and materials and hereby improves farming practices; Aliou Diallo of Sigle:Senphytomed Suarl, a solution that improve access herbal products and natural remedies while reinvesting in the conservation of medicinal plants; and finally Arfang Mafoudji Sonko of GIE Senbioagro Corporation. This solution reduces food waste, creates employment and transforms excess yields into market-ready products.
All winning entrepreneurs, who each received $2000 in seed funding with the chance to secure additional funding upon completion of the program, have completed an extensive screening process, including interviews and background checks, an assessment panel and an intensive, two-day boot camp. The latter culminated in a pitch before a jury panel with judges from Reach for Change, Kosmos Energy and prominent experts from the agricultural and fishing industries in Senegal.
The group of five will begin the six-month Senegal Start-Up Accelerator this month, during which they will learn everything from how to develop customer profiles and carrying out competitor analysis, to making a product roadmap and developing a sustainable revenue model for their business. The program will provide them with intensive and expert individual and group training, organized visits to established businesses for market research and professional mentoring.
“Through this accelerator program, we’re delighted to do our part to ensure young, promising entrepreneurs have the skills and support needed to help turn their innovative business ideas into reality,” said Mamadou Mar Faye, External Affairs and CSR Manager, Kosmos Energy. “Each winner will be guided through the process of developing a product that is ready for market and meets a real market need, contributing to the creation of a healthy and competitive agricultural sector in Senegal. Look out for five exciting new products coming to the market in just six months’ time!”