Generation Africa has launched the second annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize to find, inspire and support the best agrifood business models from young African entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic the $100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition 2020 aims to give hope and support to the agripreneurs on the African continent. The competition strives to inspire young people throughout the African continent to launch and grow innovative or technology-driven businesses in agrifood and agritech sectors, from “seed to fork” and beyond.
“We have decided to go ahead with the 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. Not despite the coronavirus, but because of it,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International. “Now, more than ever, we need to support African agrifood entrepreneurs and the small and medium agribusinesses on the continent. They are the people who produce food and get it to the people who need it. They will be the people who help to rebuild our economies after the pandemic is over.”
Applications are open for young, agrifood entrepreneurs, aged 18 – 35 from across Africa. 10 Finalists will be invited to compete in a live or virtual (online) pitching contest at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit. All 10 finalists will be awarded mentorship, programming linkages and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journey.
The winners – one female and one male-led business – will each be awarded a grand prize of $50,000 along with the Africa Food Prize and an industry-leading support network to take their businesses to the next level.
Generation Africa recognizes that tremendous effort and innovation are needed to keep agribusiness going and ensure the current health crisis does not translate into a severe food crisis as well. Leadership and coordinated action are required at global, national, and local levels to find solutions for agrifood systems that are responsive to, and supportive of, health measures. Africa’s youth agripreneurs have a huge role to play.
“Agrifood is more than an essential business in this global pandemic, it is urgent for survival,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet. “Our African agribusinesses must stay strong and innovate to meet growing food needs locally, across the whole value chain. With forex income impacted by COVID-19, our nations can no longer rely on imports to feed our people. Now is the time for Africa’s entrepreneurs to see and seize new opportunities.”
The growing GoGettaz Community provides the framework to build a support ecosystem that connects these agripreneurs with the tools, knowledge, mentors and investors they need to grow from ideas or start-ups to full-scale businesses. This network will allow them to spot fertile new opportunities or be forewarned about continental developments that could necessitate business pivots.
About the co-founders of Generation Africa:
In 2019 pan-African telecommunication, technology and renewable energy group Econet together with global crop nutrition leader Yara, co-catalysed Generation Africa and the inaugural GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize which was awarded in September at the annual Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit in Accra, Ghana.
The success of the 2019 campaign attracted industry leaders in the global and African agriculture sectors. In 2020 the Generation Africa initiative adds four inspirational co-founders to their ranks. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) strives to grow agriculture on the continent to feed Africa and the world. Corteva Agriscience harnesses cutting edge science to build flourishing farms. The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) represents the common interest of regional farmers. The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture links small-holder farmers to agri-services, insurance and quality seeds.