ASSEK to partner with Zayed Sustainability Prize to host workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

ASSEK to host Information Session to encourage participation in the Prize

Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, 21st June, 2022 – The Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK), a leading association that is fostering the startup and SME enablers ecosystem in Kenya to support the growth and development of startups and SMEs, will host an awareness session in Nairobi on June 28, 2022, to encourage local participation in the 2023 edition of the Zayed Sustainability Prize. 

Established in 2008, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) pioneering global award for recognising organisations and high schools with sustainability solutions within the categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. Inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize has, to date, recognised a total of 96 winners whose solutions or student-led school projects have positively transformed the lives of 370 million people around the world.

The HealthFoodEnergy, and Water categories reward organisations that are already delivering impact with their products and services and have a long-term vision for improved living and working conditions; in the Global High Schools category, the Prize supports student-led projects or proposals requiring funding based on one or more of the four categories – Health, Food, Energy and Water. The students must be actively involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring processes.

The Prize’s US$3 million fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each category to scale their existing solution. The Global High Schools category is split into six world region winners, with each school receiving up to US$100,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe & Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific. Kenyan schools are entered into the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

 With a population of over 55 million and the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya has one of the oldest and most thriving innovation ecosystems in Africa. It has numerous home-grown successes that are transforming the country. The Zayed Sustainability Prize offers Kenya’s entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to showcase their work to an international audience. ASSEK, the Prize’s partner in hosting the workshop in Kenya, supports the development and growth of startups and SMEs, and actively promotes networking among its members – driving greater entrepreneurial activity in Kenya.

ASSEK CEO, Mercy Kimalat, said, “The Prize is a great initiative because it harmonises sustainability with entrepreneurship, especially now that we are facing the adverse effects of climate change. With this global platform, innovators will have increased visibility on their impact and be able to unlock funding to scale their initiative to positively impact more communities at the national, pan-African, and global level. Cognisant of the role that ASSEK plays in the ecosystem, this initiative falls under our Internationalization pillar where we actively promote and position the Kenyan entrepreneurial ecosystem internationally to increase discoverability for support and investment.”

“This will continue to spur entrepreneurship across all levels in the economy from formal to informal and lead to job creation and improved livelihoods,” she added. 

The one-day awareness session will be introduced by Mercy Kimalat and attended by key members of the Zayed Sustainability Prize and supporting partners, in addition to local startups, innovators and high schools related to the Prize categories. As part of the workshop, representatives will discuss the Prize with attendees and provide a practical tutorial on how to apply. There will also be a training session for participants.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their entry by  July 6, 2022. To qualify for consideration, submissions should demonstrate the following three core criteria:

  • Impact: Significant and tangible outcomes on the quality of people’s lives.
  • Innovation: Distinctive characteristics that positively transform lives and have the potential to catalyse opportunities that will have a disruptive positive impact.
  • Inspiration: The potential to scale up project outcomes, over the next decade, and the ability to inspire others.

For the Global High Schools category, student projects should be designed to deliver positive educational impact, including providing access to quality education and ensuring students receive key skills and capabilities to achieve their goals. Like the other categories, each project should demonstrate new and innovative approaches and be inspirational to others. In the Global High Schools category, however, students may propose to solve a combination of challenges across all Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories; not just focusing on one.

Winners will be announced at the 2023 Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony on January 16, 2023 as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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