Thank you for following us and our adventures throughout our DRC365 journey. We loved the project and sharing it with you.
As with all good adventures they come to an end, and it has been time to start a new one.
Inspired by the potential we saw in the Congolese youth, we decided to come up with an exciting initiative that would not only support them, but also others in the region.
The Innovative Spirit Challenge.
We are hosting a competition for young entrepreneurs in the region (DRC, Rwanda and Uganda), to enter with their innovative ideas for business creation and development, win the capital they need to start up and build their dream.
Across the region youth unemployment is high (Rwanda 13.5%, Uganda 64%, with only an estimated 5% of DRC graduates finding jobs suited to their abilities), and for those who want to start their own business, start-up capital is hard to come by. Aspiring entrepreneurs lack access to the opportunities and support they need to succeed.
Investment into innovative ideas across the African continent is increasing, but is mostly focused on the urban hubs of Nairobi, Lagos or Johannesburg. Even Kigali has started up a business accelerator focused on young people.
So instead, this competition is focusing on promoting rural innovation at the geographical meeting point between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, and will be hosted in Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Both Nat and I are back in the region, investing our time and energy into new ventures; a café, a technology business (Nat), a Director post with World Vision (Helen), and of course the Innovative Spirit Challenge. Our hope is that with this competition we can not only promote awareness of innovation in Africa, but also finance some successful ideas and see youth pioneering the economic growth in the region.
We are really excited about this idea and hope that you will be too. Take a look at the link below for more information. Please do support this campaign if you can!
Nat & Helen