The 11th of April 2024, E4Impact Foundation assigned the Gian Marco Moratti Award 2024 during the sixth edition of the Sustainable Economy Forum, the international event which aims to offer long-term solutions to the most critical global issues, promoted by Community of San Patrignano together with Confindustria.

This special award was established by E4Impact for its entrepreneurs, in memory of the Italian entrepreneur Gian Marco Moratti and his commitment for young people. In fact, he was engaged in supporting young entrepreneurs as they build a positive future for their families and their communities.

Now in its fifth edition, the GMMA fully embodies E4Impact’s mission to foster and support the start-up and growth of new businesses in Africa. Moreover, it represents an opportunity to increase awareness about the contribution of E4Impact’s African entrepreneurs in reaching this goal by enhancing sustainable development on the continent.

In line with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, this year the prize wanted to recognize the E4Impact Entrepreneurs who better stood out for innovative and effective practices, products, services, and solutions aimed at closing social, cultural, economic, environmental, medical, and technological gaps existing in their communities.

Two are the winners selected among the 37 entrepreneurs who applied for this edition. They have been chosen by a jury of experts based in 3 criteria: performance, impact e inclusiveness. They are: Samuel Munguti from Kenya and Lovemore Manyere from Zimbabwe.

Samuel Munguti is the CEO of Shamba Pride: a digital enterprise that has launched DigiShop Market, an online-to-offline marketplace platform that connects village level farmers to key information, quality inputs and reliable agriculture services available within their local communities.

With his company, Samuel contributes to the increase of sustainable agricultural production and helps mitigating the effects of climate change, offering solutions to the issues connected to an outdated rural agricultural trade system.

In fact, Samuel developed his business idea precisely because of those problems that he faced at first hand, as he told us in an interview: “I planted tomatoes and watermelons, but my tomato seeds didn’t germinate. My first foray into farming was by most measures a hard failure. However, from that failure, I hatched the Shamba Pride idea.” he stated.

Starting from the belief that technology could hold the key, Samuel came up with a solution based on networking between farmers and their easy connection through a digital platform, in order to create a rural agricultural trade ecosystem that offers a high-quality professional retail experience for local farmers.

Lovemore Manyere, co-founder and Business Developer Director of Agriput Solar, deals with a different kind of techology.

Agriput Solar is a Zimbabwean company which provides affordable, durable, and innovative renewable energy solutions for rural areas since 2012. In fact, Zimbabwe is facing issues due to the lack of access to electricity: according to the 2022 Population and Housing Census, 38% of the Zimbabwe’s households did not have electricity and 91,1% of them were in rural areas. With his company, Lovemore provides a door-to-door service, giving its contribute to close this gap in its community.

Talking about his products, Lovemore said: “Our products range from solar lanterns for individual lighting needs to comprehensive solar home systems with multiple lights and phone charging capabilities, as well as solar-powered phone chargers, water pumps, and refrigerators. These products not only boost income and health but also facilitate access to information and environmental conservation.

In addition to international visibility and a privileged access to potential partnerships with Italian companies, the winners of Gian Marco Moratti Award received €3.000.

We asked them how those money will be used for the improvement of their impactful businesses and that’s what they told us about their future plans:

Samuel Munguti

Winning the GMMA is a special recognition for Shamba Pride, which has achieved so much in empowering rural farming communities. This inspires me and the entire team to amplify this intervention. We plan to deploy the award funds to launch additional digishops to continue creating more rural farming communities with improved services access, choice, variety and transparency.”

Lovemore Manyere

The Gian Marco Moratti award will fuel our  five-year plan to broaden our reach and electrify additional villages, schools, and clinics.
We project in the next 5 years to deliver 246,000 clean  energy products and impact over 1.2 million people, create 750 new jobs, and prevent 68,000 tons of carbon emissions. I am grateful for the trust placed in Agriput Solar’s vision.”

The Sustainable Economic Forum has been also the occasion to assign an honorable mention to Owais Abdelhfeez Hassan, a Sudanese entrepreneur whose inspiring commitment in helping people has turned into the civilian humanitarian association Sudan Agwa Organisation.

Due to the actual conflict in Sudan, Owais was forced to migrate in Ethiopia; but also in this challenging circumstances, he works to mitigate the effects of war by providing volunteer activities to serve Internally Displaced People and improve the humanitarian situation. His NGO is member of International Organization for Migration.

Owais had been also among the winners of the Gian Marco Moratti Award in 2020, thanks to his company Duaash irrigation system, providing advance technology irrigation solutions with affordable cost for small and medium farmers in Sudan and Africa.

E4Impact Foundation is delighted to support brilliant entrepreneurs, whose innovative ideas and steadfast dedication are crucial for the sustainable development of Africa. Samuel, Lovemore and Owais are great examples of this commitment in building a prosperous future for the African continent, striving to ensure that this growth is not only environmentally sustainable but also beneficial for the community: we are very proud of them!

We are sure that all the E4Impact entrepreneurs will continue to make the difference in Africa, and our Foundation will continue to believe in their talent and passion, supporting their businesses in every possible way.