Six startups from Kenya and Uganda to each receive $4000 funding from Leila Janah Foundation

The Leila Janah Foundation has announced that it is open to entries for its 2021 Winter Edition of the Give Work Challenge Program in which six teams from Kenya and Uganda will be granted seed funding of $4000 each.

The program is a social business plan competition for low-income and young enterprises in East Africa which runs two competitions per year – one for brand new businesses (Winter Edition), and one for existing businesses looking to grow (Spring Edition).

(TOP: The late Leila Janah, founder of Sama and Leila Janah Foundation who passed on in January 2020).

Through the 2021 Winter Edition, the Leila Janah Foundation is targeting women and youth with new business ideas or with existing businesses in the two countries that are not more than six months old. Selected teams will benefit from intensive training, mentorship, learning from each other, gaining market intelligence, and reaching potential new customer bases through various sessions.

“We are delighted to be hosting the 5th edition of the social business plan competition. As we strive to end global poverty through Giving work, we are stepping outside of the Sama walls to expand our mission. There are Youth in East Africa who like Sama workers and Alumni, are keen to embark on the entrepreneurship journey, but too often lack basic information about how to start and scale a business,” said Liliosa Mbirimi, Program Lead at Leila Janah Foundation. “These entrepreneurs need access to inexpensive capacity building, which is what we are trying to provide through the Give Work Challenge. By doing this, we have seen different winning ventures become sufficient economically, and build household wealth for themselves and those that they employ.”

In order to qualify, all participants should submit a well-thought-out and complete business plan with a clear financial plan and pitch deck. To put this in context, all business plans submitted MUST ensure green business practices, align to the sustainable development goals, have sustainability and circularity principles built into the business model, and finally meet the criteria for providing living wages and spreading employment throughout the region.

The evaluation process will be guided by the globally recognized Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in California and will be scored on a scale of 1-5, equally-weighted to determine a venture’s overall score at each stage of the competition, divided into three rounds.

Founded in 2018 by the late Leila Janah, the program has to date provided over $60,000 in funding and benefitted over 20 teams.

The 2021 Winter edition will end in January 2022 with a digital pitching event open to the public, where the finalists will showcase their innovations.

The application process will close on November 20, 2021.

Leila Janah Foundation is a non-profit named after Leila Janah, the Founder of Sama (a leading AI data company) who passed away from a rare form of cancer in 2020. It was founded in 2018 with a mission to support low-income enterprises in Kenya and Uganda.


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