This year divided the business plan competition into two groups – early stage and growth stage – with a $10,000 prize for the winner of each category.
The early-stage entrepreneurs pitched ideas ranging from plant fertilizer to commercial paint technology to clean energy solutions for agriculture. Yet the winner of the evening was Cherie Kihato of Savannah Space. Savannah Space is an online marketplace that sources local artisans to provide furniture and home decor for upwardly mobile clientele.
As judging continued, the growth-stage entrepreneurs took to the stage. There were companies specializing in healthy food seasoning, post-pregnancy clothing, biodegradable sanitary pads, and vehicle jump starters. However, Boaz Katah of Tumoi Teas won over the judges. Kenya ranks 3rd globally in tea production and is focusing on innovation in the tea market. Tumoi Teas is making high-demand specialty teas available globally, and the business plan competition winnings will help fund their growth in Germany.
After winning, Boaz shared, “Enterprise is vital in spreading the gospel. Resources, specifically financial, can only be provided by business or employees. It is the moral duty, therefore, of businesses to fund the church.”
Over the next 5 years, Boaz hopes to create 2,500 jobs. We’re excited to see what the future holds for him and the rest of the graduates.