A Kenyan lady has emerged the winner of the second edition of Jack Ma Foundation in the Africa Business Heroes 2020, and she will be pocketing a grant of Sh33 million from it.
The woman, Chebet Lesanu, and the founder and CEO of Bright Green Renewable Energy won in the competition that attracted a total of 22,000 applicants across Africa.
Bright Green Renewable is a social enterprise that converts urban waste into clean energy charcoal for households, farmers, schools, and hospitals.
Speaking in a previous interview, the middle-aged woman said she was humbled for being among the top 10 finalists in a contest that had thousands of contestants from across Africa.
Chebet highlighted that winning the competition would solve problems for more than 800 million people in Africa who can’t access clean energy.
According to Chebet, the win will mean that the voices of 800 million people in Africa who cannot access clean cooking fuel have been heard and will get the support they need to be able to improve their situation.
The contest saw applicants from 54 nations in the fields of Agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, AI, e-commerce, and ICT.
Some of the other Kenyans who had applied for the grant are Karl Murage of MamaSafi and John Magiro of Magiro Mini Hydro Power- a company that provides off-grid access to electricity in Murang’a County.
The process to get the final winner required the finalists to pass through two interviews and the semi-finale pitch.
The competition had around 140 judges who reviewed the contestants’ submissions.
They were assessing applicant’s leadership and vision, their ability to translate their innovations and ideas into sustainable and robust business models, and their commitment to creating a positive impact to uplift their communities.
Jack Ma Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded in 2014 by Jack Ma and focuses on improving education, the environment, and public health.