This past month, Child and Youth Finance International in collaboration with COMESA and BongoHive organized the YE! Training and Pitching Event as part of the Zambia National Youth Entrepreneur and Innovation Forum. This event was hosted by the Zambia Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development where the winner was to receive the award from the Minister, Moses Mawere.

This event was attended by stakeholders, hubs, and ministry officials, making it an excellent opportunity for the Youth Entrepreneurs who attended. Over ninety young people took part in the events on the 9th and 10th of March. Entrepreneurs participated in workshops where they had the opportunity to set up mock enterprises, testing their skills and abilities in dealing with problems that might arise when starting/running a business.

The second day was the YE! Pitching event. The entrepreneurs gave their pitches to the panel of esteemed judges. With just a few minutes to pitch their business plans and sell the judges the pitch event is a true test for any business owner looking to sell investors.

Get to know the Judges:

Rodney Carew—the head of the Zambia office of Open Capital Advisors: a management and consulting firm investing in Africa.

Christopher Chilongo—Fellow at the Zambia Institute of Marketing, and is the current CEO of Total Water Solutions.

Andjouza Ahamada—Cultural COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) as the Gender, Social and Cultural Affairs Officer.

The judges heard the pitches of seven youth entrepreneurs. They were then asked to select a winner; a tough decision indeed! Check out the pitchers’ businesses below.

Who is a force to be reckoned with in Zambia?

Nalishebo Mungowa – His slogan, “Literacy for all,” is the mission for Broadband College. Founded in 2015 with the goal of equipping the Zambian youth with the skills necessary for success in the fields of education, ICT, mining and entrepreneurship, Broadband college provides Zambian youth with practical tools for business success. You can check out his YE! Community profile here. You can also refer to the Broadband College Facebook page for more information.

Gilbert Mwale – Founder of emsika.com. This digital marketing and eCommerce platform is a site where buyers can meet sellers to exchange services. His ambitious goal is to connect three quarters of the SME's in Zambia with their buyers. Check out his YE! Profile.

Choolwe Nakalonga – Creator of peza.co.zm an online source for event management, event services and listings. On peza businesses can list their services and consumers can filter their results to suit their needs, making it a great alternative to Facebook. You can check out his YE! Community profile for more details here.

Inota Cheta – Founder of she-entrepreneurs.com a social enterprise to promote sustainable business practices among females under thirty. She-entrepreneurs facilitates business workshops and boot camps to promote to help women attempting to start a business. Inota is a Youth Board Member on the Global Platform Zambia (Action Aid Project) 2016 –present. You can find out more information about Inota Cheta on her YE! Community profile.

Byenda Nkwanda – CEO and head designer at Golden Triab, a high-end African fashion company. Her goal is to take African fashion to the global stage. You can check out the Golden Triab Facebook page here.

Tamara Zymabo – Founder of a natural haircare line formulated with coconut, shea, and mango oils. Tamara also plans to expand her business in the future skin care and baby products. You can check out her Facebook here.

Tafadzwa Bete Sasa – Creator of the GoalGetter Planner. Tafadzwa came up with the idea to design a planner to encourage young women to organize and plan for the personal progress they wise to achieve. To learn more about Tafadzwa check the link.

And the award goes to…

The winner of the pitching competition was Gilbert Mwale. He received his award from the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, the honorable Minister Moses Mawere. Gilbert will also be speaking during Financial Literacy Week 2017 in Zambia. 

The YE! Community will continue to work closely with the Zambian government to create an ecosystem where entrepreneurs can grow and thrive. The Zambian Ministry for Youth, Sport and Child development is one of the first on the African continent to write up an action plan for “Youth Empowerment and Employment.” In the future YE! hopes more government ministries follow in the footsteps of Zambia to help support their youth entrepreneurs and future business leaders. To further explore how these policies will help entrepreneurs you can check it out yourself here.

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