This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Thanks to an African website, we’ve discovered the existence of a very special project, exactly the kind that we like to blog about and highlight.

It’s the first edition of the Africa Basque Challenge, which brought together 40 young entrepreneurs, 20 from Kenya and 20 from the Basque Country, to do team projects in a competition designed to encourage their best values.

Africa Basque Challenge is an association of foundations, academic institutions, and companies, from both Kenya and the Basque Country.  The goal of this collaboartion is to promote new socio-entrepreneurial realities co-created by young people collaborating at an international level.

Africa Basque Challenge primera edición
Africa Basque Challenge first edition

This first edition chose “Mind the Gap” to be the theme of the challenge, as proposed by the participants to develop the digital socio-entrepreneurial initiatives that contribute to reduce inequalities between urban and rural areas.  For this, they formed teams in which Basque and Kenyans were equally represented.

The results couldn’t have been better, and they show that, as Asier Alea, from the Biscay regional government, one of the promotors of this project, said, “The idea is to broaden the horizons of innovators, to show that that the world is their market and that all companies think alike, regardless of where they’re from.”

The winners, by the way, were the creators of the HOCO Project, which proposes using construction materials made of coconut waste.  They’ve won a €15,000 grant.  Other interesting projects included ATM: agro-industrial processing for cassava farmer collectives; VAA: shoes made from fish skins that are currently just thrown away; and MOVAKI: brickets made from rice husks as a way to substitute charcoal in rural Kenyan kitchens.  All of them will be accompanied by an experienced consultant for six months, and will enjoy one year of online entrepreneurial courses sponsored by IBM.

It News Africa – 4/3/2019 – Africa

Kenyan startups win Africa Business Challenge

Over 20 innovators from Kenya joined 20 contemporaries from Basque to take part in the Africa Basque Challenge (ABC) in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The challenge was to find social and technical solutions to help bridge the urban-rural divide in today’s rapidly urbanising world. The winning team, which was made up of young people from the Basque County and Kenya, was selected by an expert jury. Their idea, called HOCO, seeks to boost sustainable development in rural areas by producing construction materials out of coconut waste. They were awarded €6,000 of funding and six months of mentoring to help them bring their idea to life.

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Mundukide – 28/2/2019 – Euskadi

El concurso Africa Basque Challenge ya tiene propuestas ganadoras

MUNDUKIDE, LKS, Mondragon Team Academy, PLO Lumumba Foundation, The Management University of Africa y Freedom Farms Limited junto con la Diputación Foral de Bizkaia y la Agencia Vasca de Cooperación al Desarrollo, entre otros, colaboran para promover nuevas realidades socio-empresariales co-creadas por jóvenes que colaboran de manera intercultural.

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Mundukide – 28/2/2019 – Euskadi

Africa Basque Challenge, iniciativa que conecta a jóvenes de Kenia y Euskal Herria

El concurso ABC “Mind the gap”, es un programa que pretende fomentar el desarrollo de iniciativas socio-empresariales que promuevan un desarrollo inclusivo de las comunidades rurales y contribuyan a reducir las desigualdades entre lo urbano y lo rural.

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