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