Five winners have emerged for the AdamStart global entrepreneurial challenge instituted to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adam Bradford, a social entrepreneur and Queens Young Leader from Sheffield, had set up the AdamStart project in 2010, aged just 17, to help young entrepreneurs from around the world scale-up socially responsible and innovative ideas.
To date, the scheme has supported over 8,000 young people in 130 countries on their business journey. This year, the competition encouraged young people, to tackle Coronavirus in their communities, anywhere in the world.
Bradford, founder of AdamStart – who is himself has been stranded in Benin Republic , West Africa – commented: “We received over 1, 000 entries to this year’s COVID-19 innovation challenge, spanning talent across the entire globe. The energy and creative thinking has been overwhelming, and our judges undertook a rigorous selection process to decide our five winners.”
Judging panel included Pearson Business School and the Office of the United Nations Secretary General.
The five winners are from Uganda, India, Bangladesh and Ukraine and will have access to mentoring, funding and training, and a residential trip to Pearson Business School in London.
They are Juliet Namujju, 23 from Mpiji, Uganda, who launched a sustainable fashion label that transforms the waste crisis in Africa into employment opportunities for disabled tailors. She has invented a line of biodegradable, African-print, face masks with a mouthpiece adaption to help people who rely on lipreading to communicate.
Patrick Ssremba, 23, Kampala from Uganda, who runs a start-up that offers mobile medical and dental services to communities in Uganda. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has adapted to offer digital on-demand medical and dental services to rural communities.
Apoorv Shankar, 29 from Bangalore, India, who invented Hand-Key, a sliding handheld clamp device to help open doors, push buttons on ATM machines and other high-contact public surfaces without having to touch potentially contaminated surfaces.
Osama Bin Noor, 29 from Dhakar, Bangladesh created a programme to connect young people and their ideas to policymakers, ensuring rural areas of Bangladesh get support during COVID-19.
Dmytrii Lavrinenko, 27, from Kiev, Ukraine works in the non-profit sector in Kiev and has created an online skills-sharing platform with his friends. It helps those who are disconnected and finding it difficult to gain access to services during the virus outbreak.
The prizes for each winner include: a fully sponsored trip to London in 2021 to take part in business training at Pearson Business School,
access to online training programmes with a crash course in entrepreneurship module delivered by Pearson Business School,opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to spend time at the Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism in partnership with Creative Visions Foundation,full access to top level industry mentors and coaches and opportunities for funding and financial backing.
Speaking further Adam said, “over one thousand 13 to 29 year olds from around the world took part in the business competition with Lipreading-friendly face masks, digital medical services and contact-free ATM buttons among winning business entries to the AdamStart COVID-19 Innovation Challenge.”
“As an entrepreneur who got my start at age 13 through an innovation challenge at my school, I recognise the importance of the competitions like this in fostering the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. These young people have some truly brilliant ideas and can really make a difference to the coronavirus response – and the world – with the right support to unlock funding and scale-up, ”he added.
Adam Bradford was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, at the age of 11. He has campaigned to raise awareness of autism and encouraged young people to overcome the stigma