[From left] Phyllis Wanja, Joy Mbithe, Baraka Arunga, Collins Rutto, Eric Rotich and Joseph Kariuki each won Ksh 100,000 for their business ideas at the Blaze BYOB Eldoret summit 2017
[From left] Phyllis Wanja, Joy Mbithe, Baraka Arunga, Collins Rutto, Eric Rotich and Joseph Kariuki each won Ksh 100,000 for their business ideas at the Blaze BYOB Eldoret summit 2017

The second Blaze BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) Eldoret summit took place this past weekend at Eldoret Sports Club attended by over 10,000 youth from Eldoret and it’s environs. Before the summit, there was a two-day pre-summit screening camp that took place on 4th and 5th October where hundreds of youths had the chance to pitch their big business ideas as well as get mentorship and training from leaders in their respective fields.

Ideas of the participants who pitched were evaluated by the mentors and winners in every category were picked. The best six ideas (one in each category) were rewarded with each entrepreneur walking away with Ksh 100,000 to invest in their businesses.

We caught up with them to get their quick reactions regarding their experiences, their winning business ideas and their next moves.

Here are the Blaze BYOB Eldoret Summit winners:

Baraka Arunga, 21

Business Idea: Monetized Gaming

Category: Technology

“I had a very eye-opening experience. We worked with mentors who really know their stuff, and they helped us shape our ideas and businesses well. They taught us how to think and innovate around problems. The community was fantastic as well. We had a lot of fun.

Baraka is a gaming enthusiast and CEO of Skika – an advertising agency
Baraka is a gaming enthusiast and CEO of Skika – an advertising agency

I pitched a game, which is basically Skika on steroids with a more significant agenda. What the game aims to do is enable video gamers across Africa to make a sustainable living from their skill by making eSports a professional sport just like Football, Basketball and F1 complete with leagues, prizes, spectators and everything else.

I’m planning to launch a beta version of the game at a local university and just try to see how all the parts of the business work in the real world after which we will focus on scaling it.”

Joy Mbithe, 22

Business Idea: Portraiture

Category: Film & Photography

Joy Mbithe has carved out a niche in portraiture. Her exceptional skills in executing business plan made her a winner at the Blaze BYOB Eldoret summit
Joy Mbithe has carved out a niche in portraiture. Her exceptional skills in executing business plan made her a winner at the Blaze BYOB Eldoret summit

“The training at Blaze BYOB creation camp was an excellent experience. I got to network, learn from other creatives, make new friends and get mentors. I also got challenged, now I aim to learn and grow in my craft each day.

My business idea was majoring in newborn photography, baby bumps and family portraits. Eventually, I want to set up a photography firm on the same.

My long-term plan after setting up a firm is focusing on projects to bring social change such as cancer projects to raise funds for patients through photography. I’m going to invest in equipment and marketing. I want my work to speak for me and market my photography skills. I believe the targets I have set for myself are achievable.”

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