YBI is delighted to announce the winners of our Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Mentor of the Year Awards 2022. The winners were crowned in today’s awards ceremony at our Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague.
Purity Gakuo, founder of Kuza Freezer in Kenya, was crowned the overall winner of our Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and winner of our Business for Good Award. 25-year-old Purity received 33 % of the almost 8,000 public votes across all categories and was unanimously chosen as the winner by our expert panel of judges. She has been supported by our member in Kenya, Somo.
Purity’s business Kuza Freezer manufactures and distributes solar-powered freezers to small-scale fishermen in Kenya. This enables the fishermen to significantly reduce their post-harvest loss and increase their income. The freezers are offered on a pay-as-you-go model, which is affordable and sustainable for the fishermen, who have been locked out of this cold-storage solution for too long.
So far, Kuza Freezer has reached and improved the livelihoods of over 250 small-scale fishermen in Kenya. They have also created job opportunities for over 50 women who have started new fish businesses as a result of using their products.
As the overall winner of our Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Purity has secured a $10,000 grant to grow her business, as well as a trophy, business coaching, and a place in the YBI Hall of Fame.
With 57 % of the public vote in his category, Niranjan Ovhal, founder of Simforge Engineering in India, was crowned the winner of the Covid Resilience Award. He has been supported by our member in India, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST).
During the national lockdown in India, Niranjan saw a growing demand for video games and lack of affordable, high-quality auto racing games. He decided to harness this opportunity with his business Simforge Engineering by manufacturing affordable hardware to simulate auto racing on PC. Simforge Engineering is now the first and only sim racing gear manufacturer in India and exports to 43 countries.
As the winner of our Covid resilience Award, Niranjan has secured a trophy, business coaching, and a place in the YBI Hall of Fame.
Adriana Alegre Génez, founder of Asociación Brotes de Mbaracayú in Paraguay, received 54% of the public vote in her category and was crowned the winner of our Green Business of the Year Award. She has been supported by our member in Paraguay, Fundacion Paraguaya.
21-year-old Adriana’s business Asociación Brotes de Mbaracayú, is a collective of 14 women working to increase awareness on sustainability, unemployment and exploitative practises in Villarica, Paraguay.
Through the implementation of projects and programmes that promote the efficient use of natural resources, education on the green economy, and training, Adriana fosters the development of rural and semi-urban cities and creates a variety of initiatives to enhance fair trade and generate green jobs.
As the winner of our Green Business of the Year Award, Adriana has secured a trophy, business coaching, and a place in the YBI Hall of Fame.
Mentoring expert John Cull has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at our Global Summit, recognising his work on supporting the YBI Network with mentoring for the last 20 years.
John is passionate about the value of mentoring and coaching in helping young people achieve their goals with 1,000 hours of experience in one-to-one mentoring and mentor training to his name. He helped develop the YBI mentoring toolkit and since 2010, John has been supporting our members around the world to design and deliver high-quality mentoring programmes. His commitment extends beyond initial support, and he has continued to be both friend, guide and mentor to many mentoring programme managers across the YBI network.
A huge congratulations to all our inspiring winners!