Young entrepreneur bags prestigious global award

Friday, October 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Susan Ekalale receives a global award from the British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, at her residence in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/ROY LUMBE

A businesswoman from Turkana county has received a global award over her outstanding value-led entrepreneurial life skills. 

Susan Ekalale was feted by the Prince’s Trust International. She received the Global Award from Jane Marriott, British High Commissioner to Kenya, at her residence in Nairobi yesterday after being recognised as the most 2021 outstanding personality. 

Award sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, recognises outstanding young people all over the world on a Prince’s Trust programme, which was founded by The Prince of Wales. 

The programme works with partners in 15 countries across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East and Europe.

The charity has been working in Kenya since 2019, partnering with Asante Africa Foundation to deliver Enterprise Challenge, among other initiatives.  

Enterprise Challenge programme inspires young people to develop practical business skills through coaching, mentoring and a virtual business simulation game. 

Hard worker

For Ekalale, she was feted as a hard worker, who relishes every opportunity to assist her family amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With the negative effects of the pandemic, a number of families lost their jobs and according to a report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, almost 25 per cent of Kenyans in their 20s were not in education, employment or training.

However, Ekalale stepped up to support her family. Her idea, inspired by the food business she had tried out  in the Enterprise Challenge programme, was to set up a food stall of her own, sourcing fruit and vegetables from wholesalers and reselling them locally.  

Ekalale steadily expanded the business and at the height of the pandemic, the grocery stall became the family’s main source of reliable income. 

“It was a really useful programme,” she explains, adding, “It changed my life because it enabled me to start my business”.  

She hopes to use proceeds from her business to help fund her medical degree.  

After receiving the award, Ekalale said: “I would like to thank the Asante Africa Foundation and Prince’s Trust International for giving me the opportunity of empowerment through leadership and entrepreneurship.

The skills I have learned, such as communication, resilience and entrepreneurship knowledge, have really impacted my life positively.” 

Commenting on the celebration, Marriott, said: “I am delighted to host this ceremony to recognise Ekalale and her fantastic achievements.

It is great to see young people in Kenya benefiting from programmes like  this.”  

She held women who have come through challenging circumstances to succeed and provide for others, are an inspiration to us many.

 “The UK has long been a strong supporter of girls’ education and women’s empowerment, co-hosting the Global Education,” said Marriot. 

Prince’s Trust International chief executive Will Straw said: “We are incredibly proud of Ekalale’s determination and resolve to support her family and realise her dreams.

We work with so many fantastic young people like Ekalale in Kenya and beyond, who are developing business skills that will help them to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.  

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