Agrifood investors urged to apply for $100,000 GoGettaz prize


The 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition is inviting agrifood entrepreneurs from across Africa to showcase their startup business ventures.

The competition seeks innovative founders and co-founders aged 18-35 with a vision to establish sustainable scalable businesses, drive resilience, increase food security, and create jobs in agrifood sector. Applications are open from April 8 to June 10, 2024.

This year’s competition will recognise and celebrate African entrepreneurs whose business solutions address the pressing need for efficient production of nutritious food, with business models that embrace scale and innovation, while helping to mitigate climate challenges.

The top competitors will shine at the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize final pitch stage, set to take place during the prestigious Africa Food Systems Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, from September 2-6.

Two grand prizes of $50,000 each will be awarded to the most promising and impactful female and male agripreneur-led businesses. The judges will also be looking for ventures that make a significant impact in rural livelihoods, nutrition, climate, digital technology, gender, natural resources, and job creation.

Catalysts for change

Against a backdrop of extreme weather affecting Africa’s agrifood sector, young agripreneurs are emerging as catalysts for change. With their innovative solutions and products, they

are pioneering ventures that can tackle these challenges. Now, more than ever, Africa’s agripreneurs should showcase their ingenuity and resilience by entering the competition.

The GoGettaz partnership platform offers an avenue for recognition, networking and support. It fast-tracks the development and implementation of groundbreaking solutions essential for sustainable transformation of Africa’s food systems.

“I continue to be impressed by the tremendous efforts of the young entrepreneurs we meet in the GoGettaz Agripreneur competition,” remarks Svein Tore Holsether, president and chief executive officer of Yara International, and GoGettaz co-founder.

“The way they leverage technologies and innovative business models exemplifies the potential in the agrifood sector and the crucial role of entrepreneurship in driving sustainable development. As we embark on the campaign to find our agrifood stars for 2024, we are motivated by the greater impact to create jobs, uplift communities, and nourish Africa’s growing population.”

 Potential ‘youth-quake’

According to forecasts by the United Nations, by 2050, a quarter of humanity and at least one third of the world’s youth population (15-24 years) will be African. Today, more than 70 percent of sub-Sahara Africans are under 30 years, making Africa the continent with the youngest population globally.

Africa also has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship. “Some people fear a potential ‘youth-quake,’” observed GoGettaz co-founder Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Group, who served as chairperson of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for several years.

“However, we see huge opportunities if the right support is given and enabling environments created for our youth who are filled with creative energy and ideas. Africa’s GoGettaz entrepreneurs are not passive bystanders. They are already seeing and seizing the moment, embracing technology, and working to revolutionise the agrifood industry,” he said.

“Since we launched the first GoGettaz Africa competition in 2019, we’ve discovered young entrepreneurs from across the continent building an amazing array of innovative agribusinesses, both traditional growers and very high-tech AI-driven ones. At the same time, they’re growing the prosperity

of their families and nations, and the food security of Africa. These dynamic young entrepreneurs deserve our recognition and support. That’s why we launched GoGettaz,” he added.

Food system issues

The 2024 competition welcomes a broader pool of African talent, as it addresses food system issues affecting communities at country and regional level. This year, GoGettaz will extend support to French-speaking entrepreneurs, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility across linguistic boundaries.

“The competition stands as a beacon of hope, rallying Africa’s brightest minds to pioneer transformative solutions and drive meaningful change with the bulk of youth to accelerate the achievement of Social Development Goals by 2030,” said Amath Pathe Sene, managing director of Africa Food Systems Forum.

“Africa stands at the forefront of innovating for resilience. I cannot wait to see what ground-breaking climate solutions will come from the 2024 GoGettaz contestants. The two grand prize winners for 2023 placed sustainable, nature-positive production at the forefront of their ventures by actively promoting agroforestry among suppliers and preventing further deforestation through tech-enabled supply tracing. As soaring temperatures and erratic weather patterns threaten food security, the continent’s agripreneurs are rising to the occasion. With determination and ingenuity, they are reshaping agricultural practices, embracing sustainable technologies, and spearheading climate-smart solutions.

“The GoGettaz competition helps incentivise these innovative minds to share, collaborate, and catalyse revolutionary climate action that will shape Africa’s future,” said Sene.

 Exciting opportunities

Beyond the competition, GoGettaz finalists can look forward to ongoing support to advance their leadership and impact in the agrifood sector.

Top contestants will be invited to apply for the exclusive six-month GoGettaz Africa Leadership Programme, designed to empower emerging leaders with the skills and network to grow themselves and their businesses. Selected entrepreneurs will benefit from personalised support, engaging in individual coaching, peer-to-peer sessions, and workshops led by thought leaders, fostering continuous growth and development.

As the 2023 cohort is currently reaping the benefits of this transformative programme, the 2024 competition promises to offer numerous growth opportunities.

Visionary changemakers

All African agripreneurs are encouraged to join the GoGettaz community and check to see if they qualify for the competition. The GoGettaz team looks forward to thousands more youth enjoying the benefits of membership in the growing community of visionary changemakers.

You can find out more here: https://GoGettaz.Africa.

To stay updated, visit @GoGettazAfrica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube!

The application deadline is June 10, 2024.

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