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BeChangeMaker Africa 2021 won by data insights company from South Africa

December 9, 2021

AfriCity has won this year’s African edition of WorldSkills’ social entrepreneur training programme

Disclaimer: Original article published on WorldSkills website.

BeChangeMaker Africa, a social entrepreneurship training programme by WorldSkills, HP LIFE, and the African Union and supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), provides youth with coaching for start-up acceleration so that they can take their business ideas to the next level.

AfriCity, a start-up offering insights and research to bridge the gaps between innovation and needs, has won this year’s edition of BeChangeMaker Africa. The company is led by Ija Ogwang and Mandisa Mjamba, two young social entrepreneurs based in South Africa.

According to the team, one of the reasons why ventures are unable to scale successfully is the inability to find their product market fit or due to low customer adoption.

AfriCity partners with unemployed youth in different African cities who earn money by completing surveys in an app. A team of researchers, mostly in their final year of university and postgrad, analyzes the data looking at macro and trend insights on the city.

“This matters because these ventures are positioned to solve social issues like access to education, healthcare, and financial inclusion,” said Ms. Ogwang during her pitch.

The second place was awarded to Ambani Africa, a platform for teaching African languages through storytelling and gaming. The team won the wild card spot and was able to attend the finals. They were followed by Roser Educare Network from Uganda, Profred from Zimbabwe, CHRONmate from Nigeria, and Paylend Africa from Kenya.

Mattias Larsen, Industrial Development Expert at UNIDO and coordinator of the LKDF, was one of the judges of the competition. According to him, BeChangeMaker Africa is a very well-organized programme that is great at promoting African innovation. The expert highlighted that “AfriCity’s solution is as innovative as it is relevant, and is very likely to bring about change”.

“You have been challenged to do better and you have been mentored by very capable teams,” said the representative from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the African Union Commission, Bahdon Daher Ismael, as he reminded all finalists that having made it this far, was a great learning opportunity.

“This year, BeChangeMaker Africa was an outstanding experience at all levels,” said Sofiane Khammar from HP Africa. “As we look through all the teams, we realized how much the African continent is lucky with this fueling energy, boundless creativity, and definitely the high community engagement of the new generation.”

The top five teams will each receive EUR 1,000 worth of customized post-programme coaching. Additionally, the top three teams from the pitch finale will each receive a EUR 2,000 cash award.

Find out more on the WorldSkills Africa website.