The ten finalists from the 2020 edition of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition kept pushing forward to continue finding growth for their businesses and their communities. These 10 entrepreneur heroes overcame incredible obstacles to compete for their share of a US$1.5 million grant. They were chosen out of 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations and span industries such as agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy and financial services.
The Africa’s Business Heroes from 2020 exemplify the phenomenal entrepreneurial talent from across the continent and are redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur. Here we meet the first-place winner:
The Ecopreneur: Chebet Lesan, Founder & CEO, BrightGreen Energy (Kenya)
The first-place winner in Africa’s Business Heroes 2020 is Chebet Lesan, founder of BrightGreen Energy in Kenya, a company that is saving lives and protecting the planet with its energy-efficient biofuel blocks. Chebet is on a mission to revolutionize Africa’s kitchens and reducing the cost of cooking for underserved communities across Africa.
On Entrepreneurship – “We are proof of the potential a crisis offers entrepreneurs: Covid-19 showed us our untapped potential as a business. Like many other businesses, the pandemic was a wake-up call to improve our value for our customers, as well as identify gaps in our supply chain, that could be turned into profitable activities.”
Advice – “If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. I truly feel that ABH is looking for those young Africans with a unique set of challenges that comes with being African. I’d encourage young entrepreneurs to use this platform to tell your story. There is great reward in discipline, and many brilliant businesses in this continent are yet to get their big break. I encourage every young business, if you have built a business, and it’s working the world needs to know.”