A 5th year Mechanical Engineering student, Cecil Chikezie, Eco Makaa Founder, has once again emerged a winner taking third place in the anzisha price. Cecil won a funding of USD 12,500 to scale up his startup. The top entrepreneur won USD 25,000 while the second entrepreneur won USD 15,000.
Cecil emerged top 20 in Africa and received sponsorship to an on boarding boot camp in Johannesburg, South Africa that took place in October 14-25, 2019 that culminated in the announcement and awarding of the three most innovative businesses that created job opportunities for youth.
The anzisha price is an initiative by Master card foundation and African Leadership Academy that placed the Call for startups for businesses owned by youth between the ages of 15-22 years in February 2019. Business were chosen based on their ability to create job opportunities for youth in Africa.
In the boot camp, the top entrepreneurs in Africa were trained by business coaches from various industries.
Cecil shared his enlightening experience with the Corporate Affairs team and said that, “I realized that there are many young people running businesses and facing the same challenges across Africa. I was also encouraged to persevere in this business journey. I learned to create a better business canvas and model in terms of presenting my company to other people. I learnt how to manage finances in the company, hiring and team work.
My take away, all youth have the capability of creating impact in the spaces they’re in. We should take the mantle and become the change we want to see.”
The three winners of the anzisha price will be supported for a period of 6 months and receive a lifelong fellowship.
When asked to comment on Eco Makaa, Cecil remarked that, “Eco Makaa aims to provide sustainable affordable energy to all. We produce briquettes made out of carbonized agricultural waste and sell it to households as well as hospitality industry. Up until now, Eco Makaa has sold more than ten tones of briquettes and count clients such as Ole-sereni and Intercontinental hotel. We hope to dominate the entire charcoal industry which serves 71% of urban households in Kenya.”
Eco Makaa recruits community members with access to a briquette making machine as well as premises of production; the members are trained to make standardized briquettes; and they become the suppliers.