You are here: BiD Network announces Fast5 Challenge winners

BiD Network has recently announced the winners of its Fast5 Challenge, a competition designed to support the financing of five fast growing established businesses in emerging markets. Winners operate in Kenya, Peru and Tanzania. GVEP was one of seven investment partners supporting the competition.

Izzy Projects (Kenya), Talli (Peru), C. R. Kajuna and Company, Principal Company Ltd and Illumination EA (Tanzania) are the five winners of the Fast5 Challenge. 

Launched in June the competition aimed to identify five high-growth businesses operating in emerging markets to present them to ready-to-invest financiers (GroFin, GVEP, Pearl Capital Partners, SEAF, Annona, InReturn Capital and Oikocredit).

A total of 268 applications were submitted and then 23 were pre-selected to undergo assessment by the jury. The finalists will receive extensive coaching, matchmaking support and an all-expenses paid trip to the Growing SMEs Conference in the Netherlands in November 2012. There they will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with investors and other potential business partners. 

The winners

Izzy Projects is a Netherlands-based company operating in Kenya where it develops and operates wind turbine projects to power tea factories. These factories are generally located in areas with high wind power potential thus presenting the opportunity for self-generating their energy supply.

Talli is an ethical fashion brand that delivers quality and style focused clothing using eco-friendly material, produced with the aim of economically empowering disadvantaged communities. By working with women entrepreneurs in Peru, Talli produces high quality clothing from alpaca fibre and distributes wealth to marginalised women.  

C. R. Kajuna and Company farms a 10-hectare area of crops providing ample fodder for 300 top quality beehives already owned by the company. In addition to the bee colony, the enterprise has also contracted 49 small rural beekeepers to supply raw honey which is processed and exported to European high demand market or sold to satisfy the local honey demand or produce honey products. 

Principal Company Ltd has primarily dealt with the importation and sale of bakery ingredients. Despite providing a steadily growing business over the past decade, the company has noted the potential market in Tanzania, and East Africa more generally, to process and sell products themselves, which they currently import. Their ambition is to expand their business through the extension of their factory and the machinery and equipment in place so that they may produce all the products they currently import. 

Illumination EA is a Tanzania-based company that offers affordable solar powered LED lamps to rural and low income households.  Illumination is a commercial enterprise with social and environmental goals and has, to date, distributed more than 20,000 units in five districts of Tanzania.