by Muthoni Kimani
December 8, 2020
Kenyan entrepreneur Chebet Lesan is the winner of this year’s Jack Ma Foundation-led Africa Business Heroes awards.
Chebet Lesan is the founder and CEO of Bright Green Renewable Energy, she won in the competition that attracted a total of 22,000 applicants across Africa.
Bright Green Renewable is a social enterprise that converts urban waste into clean energy charcoal for households, farmers, schools, and hospitals.
Speaking in a previous interview, Chebet said she was humbled for being among the top 10 finalists in a contest that had thousands of contestants from across Africa.
The award, which is on its second year, aims to identify and recognize the continent’s top entrepreneurs. According to Chebet, the win will mean that the voices of 800 million people in Africa who cannot access clean cooking fuel have been heard and will get the support they need to be able to improve their situation.
The contest saw applicants from 54 nations in the fields of Agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, AI, e-commerce, and ICT.
Some of the other Kenyans who had applied for the grant are Karl Murage of MamaSafi and John Magiro of Magiro Mini Hydro Power. This company provides off-grid access to electricity in Murang’a County.
The process to get the final winner required the finalists to pass through two interviews and the semi-finale pitch. The competition had around 140 judges who reviewed the contestants’ submissions.
Africa’s Business Heroes tweeted;
“After seven months of looking for heroes, we’ve found our top three finalists. Chebet of @brightgreenke has emerged winner of the 2020 ABH competition. Coming second and third respectively is Soga of @mdaasglobal and Ethel of @MoneyMart_mfi. We are proud of these inspiring changemakers,”
Besides winning the award, Lesan is set to benefit from mentorship set to be offered through the Jack Ma Foundation. Jack Ma Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded in 2014 by Jack Ma and focuses on improving education, the environment, and public health.