Airtel Rwanda and UNICEF have launched an innovative initiative to motivate youth below 25 to pitch their business ideas for projects on environment, health and education. This initiative, Pitch Night, began with a competitive call for applications and culminates today with an interactive event for the five finalists to pitch their ideas to a live audience of Government, private sector, civil society, and the diplomatic community.
Pitch Night provides a platform to introduce emerging entrepreneurs to investors, potential clients, media and fellow entrepreneurs. It is also an opportunity for children and youth to find innovative solutions to problems, with a special focus on education, health and environment issues.
In addition to opportunities, Pitch Night aims to provide mentorship to young people to take their dreams of becoming ICT investors and innovators to reality.
This event is the result of a partnership between UNICEF and Airtel Rwanda. Airtel Rwanda has positioned itself as a key player in the ICT innovation arena, where it seeks to develop solutions for issues in health, education and environment, always striving towards the development of Rwanda.
Michael Adjei, Managing Director of Airtel said, “Airtel Rwanda is pleased to be partnering with UNICEF to launch what we call an innovative project, one which will continue to provide solutions for Rwandan adolescents and youths as we move towards achieving the Vision 2050 goals that Rwanda committed to.”
“We are positive that the project we launch today will assist youths to build ideas that will help society, as the country is moving towards using homegrown solutions to tackle the country’s problems,” added Mr. Adjei.
Ted Maly, UNICEF Representative, noted that “Young people now and in the future will play a big role in how our world adapts to various challenges and opportunities. This event brings the voices and ideas of Rwanda’s youth to the forefront of development discussions.”
To participate in Pitch Night, applications were open from 15 March to 6 April 2017. Five shortlisted applicants and their projects were selected from a pool of over 100, and received business mentorship and pitch training from Inkomoko Business Development.
The final Pitch Night event was held at the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics in Kigali to showcase the talented participants and their business ideas. Out of 5 groups that pitched in the Pitch Night, Rosette Muhoza and David Cyinzuzi, students of Kepler University emerged winners and walked away with $5000 to assist them develop their ‘My Green Home’ Project.
Among other gifts, they also won brand new laptops and fully subscribed Airtel internet modems for a full year to assist them in research purposes as they build their project.
Read this article and more in issue n° 75 of Hope Magazine.