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WPDI & Gemini Enterprises Africa to support 5 promising business start-ups by young South Sudanese entrepreneurs

On September 11, WPDI & Gemini Enterprises Africa announced the winners of the inaugural Business Plan Competition in Juba, South Sudan. This competition, which was launched in June of this year, is part of the new ground-breaking program, the Business Boot Camp, an incredible opportunity at creating a small business that we offer to the graduates of the entrepreneurship training we conduct at our Community Learning Center (CLC) in Juba. This first business plan competition attracted business proposals from graduates and represents an important component of our broader work in promoting resilience, peace, and prosperity in violence and conflict-affected communities. 

WPDI has developed the Business Boot Camp to help young entrepreneurs from vulnerable and violence-impacted areas, with the objective of providing them resources to develop small businesses (SMEs) that will create services and jobs for the benefit of the community. Building on our experience with supporting small businesses in Uganda, South Sudan and Mexico, we have joined forces with our partner Gemini Enterprises Africa to design an innovative type of platform through which we support promising projects submitted by former trainees of our entrepreneurship programs, bringing them financial resources as well as intangible resources in the shape of monitoring, backstopping and continuous trainings. Ensuring the sustainability and viability of the selected projects, our objective is to promote a new generation of entrepreneurs who will strengthen the resilience and welfare of their communities.

The June business plan competition held in Juba attracted 17 business proposals in total from our program’s graduates. After submission, the proposals faced a thorough review process from the competition’s selection committee, which was composed of WPDI’s expert staff and business leaders from our partner, Gemini Enterprises Africa. Once the screening and assessment process was completed, the committee provided feedback on each proposal before submitting them to a final review. The process selected five finalists:

The first Prize went to “ARECO Event Service Crew”, by Duku Emmanuel Jonah, the second to “Green Inspiration Saloon” by Malish Richard Charles Samuel. For the third prize, the selection committee was actually so impressed with three business proposals that they decided to share the third place awarding to “Local Home-Style Restaurant by Dawa Betty Cosmas, “Gracious African Crafts” by Ripai Grace Anthony Yabira and “Dayton’s Food Stuffs Supplies Trading Company” by Alfred Pascal.