Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative has awarded N1.55 million grants to female entrepreneurs in a project tagged “Ignite Innovation Lab”.
The project, supported by United States Embassy, was launched to provide a unique opportunity to female entrepreneurs to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills and push them into social entrepreneurship space.
After a pitch competition in Abuja, top three ventures – EcoSpace, Waste to Health Initiative and Saveher Project – received N700,000, N500,000 and N200,000 respectively to support their businesses.
Three other ventures – Life Pro, Farm Chique and Gifted Hands/Andrey Organics – also bagged ‘Impact Awards’ and were given N50,000 each to support their projects.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Abuja, Cynthia Mene, the CEO and Co-founder of Inspire Africa, said the winners emerged out of 25 finalists, who, she said, were carefully selected from the over 500 entries after a thorough screening exercise.
In selecting the finalists, Mene said the panelists considered the ability of their projects to have a meaningful community impact as well as their potential to be innovative, sustainable and feasible.
“From over 500 entries received, we selected 300 entrepreneurs at the first stage of the screening and train them at a two-day ‘Ignite summit’ in Zaria and Lokoja. After that we arrived at the 25 finalists,” she said.
The 25 shortlisted entrepreneurs had received a week-long intensive training, co-facilitated by the Inspire Africa team and Gemma Bulos and Scott Sherman of the Kravis Lab for Social Impact at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles, California, United States
Inspire Africa focuses on developing and promoting young entrepreneurs in growing their business ideas.