Say hello to #AdamStart mentees in Mauritius!

I had the rare privilege of being able to combine a holiday with a work visit last week when I visited Mauritius.

Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, is home to some 1.2 million people and a new breed of aspiring young entrepreneurs. Across my time in the island I was lucky to come across social changemakers, activists and budding young businesspeople.

I met up with #AdamStart 2016 runner-up Arinze Obiezue, who is busy changing the world and inspiring students with his campus media-brand Ingress Media Group. Find out more about his work here.

Whilst giving a talk to students at the African Leadership University, I opened up an opportunity, spontaneous as I am, for students to pitch their business ideas to me. I would pick the stand-out ideas and offer six months of mentoring and support. I am pleased to announce this morning that I have picked students from the University to receive personal mentoring to help shape their ideas for the next six months.

Please join me in congratulating Derek Chiteve and Philippe Rutaganza! 

 

 

Adam Bradford
Congratulations to 2016 winner, 20-year-old Walid Ijassi

Walid, from Morocco, is the lucky winner of the 2016 #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge. Find out more about him and get inspired by reading below...

Business Name: POMM'it
Current Age: 20
Studying/Working At: ENSAM Casablanca (École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers Casablanca) - Industrial Engineering Option (1st Year of Engineering Cycle).

How did you hear about #AdamStart? 

It was only 1 day before the deadline when I was looking up on Facebook for 'entrepreneurship challenges' targeted at young entrepreneurs like myself, and I've come across the #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge application announcement that has caught my attention with the notoriety of the organizers, and I immediately filled-in the application documents during the small period left for the application phase to close. That's been said, I learned that even if you're only minutes away from the deadline you should submit your application. You'll never know, you may end up worldwide champion of a global entrepreneurship challenge!

Why did you apply? 

I applied in order to boost my entrepreneurial skills via the mentoring cycle, also to benefit from the #AdamStart network and to win the £1000 to help me scale up my business. I also applied to have an international visibility for my start-up.

What does your business/project do? 
My business is a social start-up that transforms deteriorated apples into agri-food and cosmetic products, with healthy virtues mainly nutritional and dermatological, destined for general consumption. We have launched this stat-up in order to create job opportunities for marginalized rural women, and to empower small local apple farmers whose only source of revenue is the apple production.

How has the competition helped to further your goals? 

The competition helped me gain more credibility for my business by granting national and international media coverage, which has helped me during several occasions to strengthen my offers with potential partners and during business negotiations. The competition also gave me the opportunity to be mentored by Mr. Adam Bradford through our frequent Skype calls with the whole #AdamStart team, allowing me to learn new things and put them into action.

What advice would you give to other young people applying this year? 

Before applying, make your idea/project well organized and make sure to underline the importance of your business to the world. Also make sure to define your action plan post-winning the competition and potential results following receiving the prize money. And even if only few hours are left for the deadline, APPLY!

What can we expect from Walid in the future? 

You can expect a major agro-business network on rural areas with agricultural resources, having lots of linked brands like POMM'it but for other fruits and resources, with a well-established industrial production chain allowing us to have a big production capacity to ensure more job positions for local citizens especially women.

Adam Bradford
Meet 18-year-old Arinze Obiezue

18-year-old Arinze, originally from Nigeria, studying in Mauritius, is a social entrepreneur and runner-up of the 2016 #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge. Meet this exceptional young man with a big heart.

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Tell us about you Arinze and how you came to get involved in the Challenge:

I am currently studying Business Management at the African Leadership University. I am also the Founder & CEO of the Ingress Media Group

I heard about #AdamStart from Twitter; it was just a day before the competition was supposed to be over. 

I applied to #AdamStart mainly because of the opportunity to be mentored. Being a teen entrepreneur isn't easy as you have to learn a lot of the things on-the-job. So having another young entrepreneur guide me was something I knew that I didn't want to miss out on.

What is your business, what does it do?

Ingress Media is a pan-collegiate media company which connects universities across Mauritius using the tools of media and entertainment. Its purpose is to give young African college students a voice, an opportunity to develop their skills, and a space to share their talents with the rest of the world.

Being the runner-up for the 2016 #AdamStart has helped me mostly in developing myself as a leader. Under the tutelage of great men like Adam Bradford, I have been able to hold myself accountable to become an even better leader of the talented set of young people I work with at Ingress. The competition had also helped me structure the venture and integrate processes which have been able to set us on the right path of rapid growth. 

What advice would you give to young people applying in the 2017 Challenge?

I'd advise other people who are applying this year to simply be original. Don't try to sugar-coat things or say things you think the #AdamStart team wants to hear. Be you. Don't be afraid to admit the flaws in your project. The #AdamStart team is here to help you, not judge you.

What can we expect to see from Arinze in the future?

Moving forward, I'll keep on working with Ingress Media and expanding our influence outside of Mauritius to the rest of Africa. Alongside that, I'll be doing a lot of social projects: growing the Model UN society that I run, and another project aimed at supporting, promoting and developing the next generation of writers.

Adam Bradford
Apply now for #AdamStart 2017!

The application window is now OPEN for entries to the 2017 #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge.

If you are aged 18-29 and have a great idea for a business or social enterprise, submit your concept now via www.adamstart.biz and make your pitch for a life-changing package of support.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Up to £1000 cash grant towards capital expenses
  • 1 year of mentoring and business development support
  • Marketing and networking opportunities for your business 

The #AdamStart competition is the brainchild of 24-year-old social entrepreneur Adam Bradford. Adam started his first business in IT aged just 14, with the help of a school business competition. Now he wants to bring up the next generation of young entrepreneurs and invites you to make your pitch to him and his team. 

The application window closes at 11.59pm London time on 31st July 2017. The winner will be announced in Summer 2017. 

For further information and full terms and conditions, please visit www.adamstart.biz. 

Adam Bradford