During the ‘Sustainable Technology for Africa’-event in Leuven, three African start-ups (with Belgian links) were crowned. They enjoy further support and receive a social loan up to €100.000. This event was created by Ondernemers voor Ondernemers in cooperation with Thomas More, VITO and the African Diaspora Projects Initiative.
The winning projects are:
- MNB, a project of Zilipa Nyirabyago, with a strong focus on circular economy wants to push back the import of mushrooms in Rwanda by letting the local farmers produce it themselves. The fertilizer of these mushrooms will be the waste of the local coffee production.
- Lum’Artemisia is a start-up presented by Océane Vildeuil. She wants to reduce malaria to no less than 60% based on a medical plant called Artemisia. Today, a pilot project is running in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but soon it will be expanded to Togo and Benin. Lum’Artemisia also won the public award.
- Solarly is a start-up of Jean-Grégoire Orban de Xivry, that focuses on solar energy thanks to the user-friendly and cheap offer of a solar energy box. In this way Solarly responds to the high demand of energy. Two out of three Africans don’t have electricity at home.
The closing event, that took place in Leuven, was the pinnacle of a process of months. At first, 23 projects signed up, of which 11 projects were selected. These projects were strongly supported during 5 coaching sessions while being elaborated, starting from a business idea and resulting into a quite a business plan. The projects have been assisted by experienced (ex) managers of Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, experts of VITO and students ‘Entrepreneurship & Innovation’ of Thomas More.
“The success and positive energy in the ‘Sustainable Technology for Africa’-contest and closing event, with more than 100 spectators and investors on the spot, shows the importance of an integrated collaboration between African and Belgian entrepreneurs”, tells Björn Macauter, general manager of Ondernemers voor Ondernemers (OVO). On the event was announced as well that the organization will start an OVO Acceleration Fund to assist African entrepreneurs even further.
Ondernemers voor Ondernemers is strongly convinced that it will be mostly the local companies that could create an economic revival. It supports African entrepreneurs with knowledge transfer, coaching, succession and social-financial loans.