Google on Wednesday announced the winners of its first Google Impact Challenge in Nigeria with 12 non-profits and social enterprises each awarded a share of $2million in grant funding.
The four winners – The Cece Yara Foundation, HelpMum, Project Enable Africa and Vetsark – will receive $250 000 each, while the eight runners-up will each receive $125 000.
According to the organisers, the funding will be allocated in tranches, to be assigned to each enterprise as they reach a set of predefined milestones specific to each venture.
Google Country Director in Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said the Google Impact Challenge is aimed at shining a light on the great of African innovators.
“Many African innovators are doing great work with real impact and Google is keen to shine a light on their work, and also give a financial boost to their projects and ideas.
“We believe technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, and Google is eager to provide support to individuals and organisations using technology in new ways to make a positive difference.”
The competition opened in May with more than 5,000 entries received in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Judging to narrow down the 12 finalists was conducted by a team of Googlers and Google partners with expertise in the sector. Voting was then opened to the public from 8 to 26 November. On the night, each entrant pitched their enterprise to a judging panel, which voted on the winners. The results of the public vote determined the people’s choice winner.
Judges on the night included Chairman CEO Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), Mrs. Parminder Vir, Chief Executive Officer; Tony Elumelu Foundation; Rapper, CEO of Chocolate City Music Group, MI Abaga; Philanthropist and Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs Oluseyi Oyebisi; Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners Eghosa Omoigui and Google Nigeria’s Country Director Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.
Names and details of the four winners:
Vetsark – It is planning to launch Alpha Prime Disease Surveillance Technology to predict, prevent, and control pests and disease outbreaks in Nigeria to protect crops and livestock.
The Cece Yara Foundation – It established the first toll-free child helpline and child advocacy centre in Nigeria and aims to connect victims with professional services through the web, SMS, and mobile apps.
HelpMum – Using mobile technology, HelpMum provides clean birth kits to ensure that pregnant women are given the best possible care during delivery, irrespective of where they live.
Project Enable Africa – This digital inclusion project promotes the access of people with disabilities and their caregivers to ICT skills and opportunities.
The Eight runners-up:
BudgiT Foundation – Its Tracka Capital Project raises a community of active citizens who monitor the implementation of government projects to ensure service delivery.
Bunmi Adedayo Foundation – This non-profit organisation trains public primary school teachers to bridge competency gaps in their teaching methodology as well as any subject area deficiencies.
Junior Achievement Nigeria – Provides entrepreneurship and digital skills training for secondary school students.
LearnFactory Nigeria – Its EmBED project uses technologies like virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence to make learning fun for children.
Rural Development and Reformation Foundation – Its OLEJU campaign is designed to economically empower women to become skilled artisans using creative recycling technology as a major tool.
Seed Tracker – IITA – This digital app is designed to enhance quality seed production and access to seed markets, addressing the lack of knowledge in the sector.
Solar Sister Nigeria – This non-profit social enterprise recruits, trains, and mentors women to deliver transformational solar and clean cooking solutions directly to the doorsteps of homes across the country.
The Roothub Tech 101 – A training programme designed to provide much-needed technology skills to disadvantaged youths in the rural areas of Nigeria.