Announcing the winners of our Kwanda x Jamii business grants
Earlier this year we took £2000 from our village pot and created a business grant - in collaboration with Jamii - to encourage and support Black founders who are tackling complex problems, creating innovative products, or engaged in industries typically devoid of Black Founders.
After a two month open application period, we ended up with 184 amazing applications, and as a team, we were very excited to discover and learn about all the amazing founders that applied.
The review process involved six Kwanda villagers diligently combing through applications, and ending with intelligent discussion and debate. The final decision was difficult, as we had to decide between ten applicants, all of whom had brilliant propositions.
Still, we managed to land on two winners, and we are excited to share the news with you:
Hena Bryan, Founder of Bryan House Publishing
Bryan House Publishing (BHP) was founded in 2017 by Hena, whilst she studied English & American Literature in university. Hena had noticed that there were a lack of representation for Black, Brown, Asian and Minority Ethnic children in Picture books and wanted to help diversify the selection.
So she started BHP as an up-and-coming Publishing House that publishes 1–2 titles a year.
Sara Berkai, Founder of Ambessa
Sara's mission is to democratise education and technology, she is currently studying an MSc in Child Development at Oxford and was awarded Young ICT Leader by the ITU.
Ambessa enables children globally to build the worlds they want to live in. Children are empowered when building our STEM toy kits and attend our STEM workshops. For every kit purchased, a refugee child out of school receives one for free.
We also couldn't help but mention the other founders we were excited by, and their businesses:
Helping small to medium e-commerce brands offer fast and flexible delivery options to their customers
Maya Lingam, Founder of Ecospot
Using technology to get children, staff and parents engaged with sustainability, at school and at home.
Uchenna David, Founder of London Manya
The first Premium Sparkling Palm Wine.
Keisha Ehigie, Founder of Imagine Me Stories
A monthly subscription box that aims to inspire and empower by providing quality black children's literature and fun activities.
Aaron Bedward, Founder of Bsket
Delivering everything from snacks and alcohol, to your missing groceries within 20 minutes.
Rachael Nakaye, Founder of Pata
Offering Ugandans a safe and convenient way to hire drivers on-demand, for as long as you need.
Davidson Otobo, Founder of Ordrs
An online platform that allows you to shop local from a range of much-loved local grocery stores in an ethical manner.
Beni Ngwamah, Founder of Weka Invest
An investment marketplace facilitating investments into emerging startups and businesses in Africa.
Ayokansola Ayo-Adeyemo, Founder of Tupear
An online platform that connects students with a study partner to them increase their productivity and ensure they achieve their goals.
Oduwa Edo-Osagie, Founder of Brushwrk
An art marketplace app where the next generation of artists live.
Temidayo Makinwa, Founder of Gevva
Helping people get together in London with the people that matter most, more often through curated venues.