Liberia: Five Applicants Qualify for J-Palm’s Startup Challenge Grand Finale

Monrovia-The JPL Startup Challenge for up-and-coming entrepreneurs has reached the grand finale with five finalists inching closer to win the grand prize of L$100,000.

The grand finale, scheduled to be held at the J-Palm Store on October 8, will see the five finalists pitch their businesses before a quartet of judges, which includes Michael A. McCarthy, US Ambassador, Madam Jeanine Milly Cooper, Minister of Agriculture, Laureine Guilao, CEO of TipMe Liberia and Marvin Trawally, CEO of Loop Academies.

The finalists are Ruth T. Farkollie, CEO of Tete’s African Interiors (TAI), Foday Zinnah, CEO of New Pointers Builders, Abel Varney, CEO of Agro Links Inc., Faith Gray, CEO of Fruity Fruits, and Jared Lankah, CEO of Nimba Ventures.

From a total of 23 applicants, the entrepreneurs went through rigorous rounds at different intervals until they were narrowed down to five.

Foday Zinnah, CEO of New Pointers Builders Construction, and one of the five finalists added, “From start to finish, I have had amazing experiences. Creating a patch content that got me to stage 2 was “edu-taining”. As an emerging entrepreneur, I learned how to identify my problem and solutions. Meeting over 10 inspiring businesses in phase 2 was scary, I thought I was the least but I kept listening to our trainers’ mentorship. I am looking forward to a strong network with participants, the TRIBE team, and the J-Palm team too.”

The J-Palm Startup Challenge is being implemented by TRIBE, a Liberian education startup and business development consulting firm. 

J-Palm Liberia manufactures skin and hair care products from palm kernels. J-Palm partners with smallholder farmers in rural communities to improve the efficiency of wild palm oil production, while also purchasing the previously wasted palm kernels from the farmers. As a result, farmers are able to double their incomes and expand their businesses. J-Palm currently works with more than 1000 smallholder farmers in Bong County, Liberia. The kernels the company sources from smallholder farmers are processed into a range of beauty products marketed under the Kernel Fresh brand.

TRIBE seeks to inspire a new generation of purpose-driven young African problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and storytellers. Through its education social enterprise and workforce development and entrepreneurial consultancy, TRIBE is reimagining secondary education and creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem to bridge the learning and workforce development gap between students, schools, and employers. 

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