Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to pitches from 6 young social entrepreneurs from Cameroon, Ghana and Denmark. I was invited to take part in the panel, giving the young people feedback on their ideas and their pitches. In the panel I was joined by fellow entrepreneurs Niels Andreasen, Sandra Willumsen, Happy Koffi Djebou and Elisabeth Lange.
In this blog post, I will present the 6 ideas for you, because they deserve to be shared.
The event was part of the project Youth SIRCle – Social Innovation for Resilient Communities- Living Earth. The project’s goal is to support young people to create ideas that can be shared as ‘Business in a box’. It means that the business model can be shared so that other young people, potentially in other countries, can realize it as well and create a job and an income for themselves and others.
Bertrand from Cameroon – WEMAKIT
Together with his team, Bertrand has established a farm with the purpose of helping other young people learn about farming, while earning money for getting an education. The young people come and work at the farm, whilst gaining farming skills. They get paid a salary, and then some of the money they earn is reinvested in then setting up other farms. The crops they cultivate are sold, and thereby they have a sustainable business with an income.
Evelyn from Sweden (representing Denmark)
Evelyn wants to assist people in areas hit by natural disasters. Once the disaster has passed, and the people have reached a point where they see themselves as survivors, she wants to facilitate a process that can empower people in the affected communities. With a range of different methods she wants to encourage them to cooperate with the local authorities to create the best solutions for rebuilding the community.
Linda from Ghana – Natural Cosmetics
Linda has invented her own natural lotions and soaps with the use of moringa leaves. Moringa is a plant with numerous health benefits that grows in many places in Africa. Linda invented the lotions, when she experienced problems with her skin. When she first started using a lotion mixed with moringa leaves, honey and other natural ingredients, her skin started to get better. Today she has made it a living to sell her products, enforcing pride in Africans to utilize their own natural products, without chemicals.
Herman from Cameroon – NJANGI
Together with his team, Herman creates clothes that young people can wear to express themselves and their cultural identity. Herman and his team want to start a movement where young people feel free to be who they are, and can be inspired by other youth changing their lives for the better. The clothing line will serve as an example of this ability to take charge of one’s own life, by creating your own venture and style, whilst being proud of your roots. Recycled materials will be used in the designs, for instance plastic waste.
Justice from Ghana – Moringa Energy Drink
Justice has invented an energy drink, also using the before mentioned moringa leaves, ginger and lemon. He is already selling it to locals in his area, and wishes to expand his business – possibly internationally. His intention is to create pride for the local ingredients and raise awareness on local products, in a culture where Coca Cola is found in every small village in Ghana. Health benefits of the moringa drink should be enforced, in villages all over Ghana.
Kwame from Ghana – Plastic waste upcycling
There are so much plastic in the streets of Ghana. Kwame and his team have invented an idea that removes the plastic from the streets, and upcycles it to colourful bags. They collect the small plastic bags used for drinking water, clean them, and stitch them into the lining of different types of bags. The bags are then sold, earning money for the project. Instead of collecting all the plastic themselves, they pay people money for collecting these plastic bags. Thereby they also create income for others.
It was such a great pleasure to listen to the young men and women. I wish them the best of luck to succeed with their ideas! I really hope that their ideas will spread as business in a box, so that many more young people will be able to create their own social entrepreneurial businesses!
Thank you Camilla Nielsen-Englyst, project manager in SIRCle, for inviting me to the event.