The USAID – supported East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Syngenta and the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), have launched the second edition of the agribusiness competition dubbed “Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition.”

This year’s competition is open to East African youth aged 18 – 35 years, who reside in the East African Community, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Mauritius or Madagascar, and have a start – up or small and medium sized enterprise (SME) involved in the agricultural value chain. Businesses should be in the second year of operation with a defined business model (beyond idea stage).The 12 months competition process will involve training and mentorship for the top 120 entries (60 start – ups and 60 SMEs). Trainings will be carried out at the Toyota Kenya Academy, located three kilometers south east of Nairobi.

Representatives from the top 120 entries will participate at the 2015 Africa Green Revolution Forum and the top 30 finalists will receive entry to participate in the Agribusiness Innovation and Trade Fair conducted by IREN and its partners, in May 2016 at Kigali in Rwanda. The top six finalists will receive seed capital amounting to USD 20,000.

The “Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition” will promote the establishment and strengthening of existing start – ups and SMEs. It will demonstrate the interconnectedness of players along the agricultural value chains for purposes of promoting investment, job creation and productivity in the agribusiness sector.

The overall goal of the competition is to enable participating youth owned start – ups and SMEs to stimulate sustainable enterprises that attract potential investors and stakeholders through competition.