Two Ugandan entrepreneurs; Zilla Mary Arach; Co-Founder and CTO of Akorion, and Elizabeth Nyeko; Co-Founder of Mandulis Energy were listed among the six (6) African entrepreneurs that attended this year’s Westerwelle Young Founders Conference in Berlin, Germany where they learned and taught about German initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and pitching their businesses.
Early this year in March the Westerwelle Foundation had opened applications for the 2017 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme, looking for outstanding young entrepreneurs from developing and emerging countries to participate at the Young Founders Conference. After over 2,000 applications were received from 146 countries, a cohort of 21 young entrepreneurs from 15 countries was selected to take part.
The cohort included six entrepreneurs from Africa, namely Zilla Mary Arach (from Uganda), Louw Barnardt (South Africa), Sabrine Ibrahim (Tunisia), Peter Kariuki (Rwanda), Elizabeth Nyeko (Uganda), and Francis Obirikorang (Ghana).
As part of the conference, participants met with German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries, with three startup selected to present their companies to the minister. Among them was Zilla Mary Arach’s Akorion – an Agritech company that uses technology to provide services and products to farmers and agricultural companies in Uganda. Your specially developed software suite EzyAgric collects and helps to make intelligent decisions in critical company questions.
— Akorion (@akorion256) September 15, 2017
Notably, Akorion has received several awards including; Innovation Accelerator of the World Food Program in Germany (2016), SEEP Financial Inclusion in Washington (2017), the World Economic Forum in South Africa and the Agribusiness Magazine in Uganda. Zilla Mary Arach in August 2017 won herself the Overall Young Achiever of the Year and Young Achievers Award for Farming and Agro-Processing during the 2017 Young Achievers Awards.
On the other hand, Mandulis Energy (from Uganda) was founded in 2012 and develops innovative renewable energy projects. The company deals in a unique way with the trilemma of energy supply (sustainability, reliability, affordability). Their integrated approach focuses on delivering energy to drive the economic development of rural areas. For this reason, the World Economic Forum awarded Elizabeth Nyeko; Co-Founder and Financial Director of the company as one of the Top 10 Female Innovators in Africa in 2016.