SAY HELLO TO OUR
ENTREPRENEURS

Our programs have touched hundreds of entrepreneurs, 78 of whom
have started businesses. Meet a few of them.

Over the next 10 years, 13 million African youth are expected to join the labor market annually. Youth unemployment is an epidemic that must be treated now. An ecosystem approach that includes education and financing, in addition to pro-business development policies is necessary. 

Entrepreneurship is not the whole solution, but it plays a big part. In fact, a recent World Bank study revealed that funding entrepreneurs is possibly the most efficient type of development intervention. 

The centerpiece of our training programs is a proprietary curriculum that combines human-centered design with advanced business skills, leadership, and teamwork, delivering these competencies through an experiential learning model. All of our fellows have gone through this intensive program. 

 
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Fatoumata Binta Diallo

Nurturing the Future

Fatoumata is a young woman who should be an example for all young women looking to make a difference in their country. She overcame many challenges during the research and development period, and still finished the competition victorious. She was awarded 18,250,000 GNF (≈$2,645) and with these winnings, she worked quickly to open a daycare center. 

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The women of Fatoumata’s neighborhood sell at the local market, which is located right on the edge of Conakry’s major highway. It is very difficult for these women to manage their business while keeping a constant eye on their small children who are at risk of being hit by a passing car or truck, getting sick from playing in the piles of trash that pollute the market, or falling into the deep gutters that line the road. At the same time, Fatoumata realized that many children enter school not even knowing their letters, numbers, or how to think creatively, and thus start their educational careers at a disadvantage, which is never overcome. In light of these social problems, Fatoumata decided to launch her daycare promoting creativity and providing security for children.

After less than a month of operations, she already cares for and educates 82 children. She employs two other young women and is looking to expand that number. With the help of AGUIDEP, one of Dare to Innovate's partner organizations in Guinea, she keeps organized management documents. In the course of a few months, Fatoumata went from a young woman, returned from university and discouraged about the opportunities available for her, to a leader in her community and a social entrepreneur able to provide for herself and others. 

Mamadou Aliou Bah

Veterinary innovation

Graduating with a degree in veterinary medicine in 2012, Aliou was lucky to have worked a couple internships, but none led to full-time employment. He entered the Dare to Innovate conference as one of many unemployed Guinean youth. During the conference, Aliou identified a growing demand for quality veterinary care in the surrounding villages and after winning in 2013, created Pita’s first mobile veterinary clinic, which supplies cost-effective treatment to rural posts and provides on-site consultations to herders.

Aliou has a passion for veterinary medicine. He is also driven to improve the socio-economic condition of his hometown to help other young people find meaningful employment. As he explained during the ideation process, “What frustrates me the most is the lack of protein in meals despite the efforts of farmers and students who have mastered their subject and their work [but have not been employed to use it]. This is what my mobile veterinary clinic will address.”

Aliou has evolved not only into a responsible and successful social entrepreneur, but a beacon of change within his community. He received additional funding to expand his business to also include a chicken farm.

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John Dari

Agricultural integration

John grew up in the villages and fields around Parakou. Interested in agriculture, he studied agronomy in university. He wanted to come out of school with a unique and valuable skill, so he chose to specialize in beekeeping. He believes the integration of beekeeping, agriculture, and forestry, combined with community education about the environment, has real potential to protect valuable forest resources in Benin. At the same time, it will help reduce poverty by creating new economic opportunities for poor farmers. Relentless in his search for knowledge, John is constantly looking for new information about beekeeping and how to use it to improve the lives of people in his community.

John won $1,000 at the competition in 2015, and with his prize money he has built several beehives on his family's farm, including new models not yet widely employed in Benin. Apart from improving his own apiary, he looks to spread the skill of beekeeping to others, and start a "bee bank" so that farmers looking to incorporate bees into their agricultural systems can easily get started. One day, he hopes to have his own farm consisting of a diversity of trees and crops permitting the production of honey and bees year-round.

Timothée Mora

Feeding the future

The son of a farmer, Timothée spent his youth working the land near Komiguéa in the commune of N'Dali. He developed a love for agriculture and a strong motivation to improve the condition of his community. Because of his education and his nature, he has earned the respect of many in his community and is looked at as a valuable resource for development.

With malnutrition as a perennial problem in the region, Timothée recognizes the potential of soy to increase the amount of protein in peoples' diets. Moreover, vegetal protein sources like soy place less of a burden on natural resources when compared to animal protein sources, making them more sustainable. He looks to increase the production of soy in his region with improved seeds and techniques, as well as though the use of a dam that will allow irrigation, and thus three harvests a year instead of one. He won $800 at the competition in 2015, and with this he purchased a thresher for his community. This will help farmers reduce losses in crop processing and improve the quality of the final product. He also will use the money to prepare his land for the next growing season and purchase improved seeds.