Scholarship award for Kenya’s Young Entrepreneur Challenge winner

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A mobile app to enable farmers in rural Kenya to advertise and sell any daily surplus crops has won the 2018 Nairobi Young Entrepreneur Challenge, hosted by the Newcastle Business School.

Aamir Pirani from the Aga Khan Academy won first place for his business plan innovation, collecting a $25,000 University of Newcastle study scholarship.

Aamir’s ‘Soko phone’ app business plan enables low income customers to access cheaper farm produce by engaging directly with suppliers and features transaction capability through existing cellular money transfer apps.

Aamir was one of four finalists selected to present their plans at the Australian High Commission in front of Australian’s High Commissioner for East Africa, Alison Chartres, and a panel of judges consisting of University of Newcastle’s Dr Patricia Johnson and two notable Nairobi business leaders.

In addition to scholarships, the four finalists competed for a prize pool of 250,000 Kenyan shillings (approximately AU$3300) to share with their schools in Kenya.

The Nairobi Young Entrepreneur Challenge is an initiative of Dr Michael Seamer of the Newcastle Business School and conducted in partnership with the University’s agent in Nairobi – Koala IAC.  The competition is based on the NSW Year 11 Business Plan Challenge developed by Dr Seamer, which is now in its fifteenth year of competition.

Young Entrepreneur Challenge in Kenya

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.