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Kenya’s Chebet Lesan wins Sh33 million in Jack Ma’s Africa Business Heroes awards


Kenyan entrepreneur Chebet Lesan is the winner of this year’s Jack Ma Foundation-led Africa Business Heroes awards.

The award, which is on its second year, aims to identify and recognise the continent’s top entrepreneurs.

Lesan is the founder of Bright Green Renewable Energy, a social enterprise that turns urban waste into clean burning charcoal for households, schools, farmers, hospitals and many others.

The win means a capital injection of Sh33 million which will boost her company’s move to promote access to clean cooking fuel across Africa.

A shared prize of US$1.5 million will also go to Oluwasoga Oni of MDaaS Global, Nigeria and Ethel Mupambwa of MoneyMart Finance, Zimbabwe.

“After seven months of looking for heroes, we’ve found our top three finalists. Chebet of @brightgreenke has emerged winner of the 2020 ABH competition. Coming second and third respectively is Soga of @mdaasglobal and Ethel of @MoneyMart_mfi. We are proud of these inspiring changemakers,” a tweet by Africa’s Business Heroes read.

In October when Lesan talked to Nairobi News, she said a win for Bright Green Renewable Energy will be a win for more than 800 million people in Africa who cannot access clean energy.

“It will mean that the problem we are solving of energy poverty across Africa, that the voices of 800 million people in Africa who still don’t have access to clean cooking fuel have been heard and are going to get the support they need to be able to improve their situation,” Lesan said then.

Read: Kenyan entrepreneur among top 10 finalists of Jack Ma Foundation competition

Besides winning the award, Lesan is set to benefit from mentorship set to be offered through the Jack Ma Foundation.

The foundation has committed about Sh1.1 billion in grant for 10 years to be awarded to contestants in the fields of agriculture, Artificial Intelligence, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).