John Paul Kipruto Tarus is the winner of the Uasin Gishu County Plug Mtaani Vijana to Invest Business Idea program after his idea of converting plastic waste into useful furniture like tables, learning materials and chairs for ECDE learners emerged as the best.

Patience Chemutai who came in as the first runners up worked on a service that will revolutionize mental health by connecting clients with mental issues to experts, while Diana Chelagat came in as the second runners up with an idea on an incinerator that burns waste and at the same time generates electricity for use.

The program, where 204 county youths participated also saw winners from various sectorials among them Energy, Creative Art, Communication, Agribusiness, ICT and Special awards awarded.

While representing Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, Deputy Governor Eng. John Barorot through his speech, thanked them for emerging winners lauding the county youth for embracing the opportunity to participate.

The county boss said his administration will ensure that youth across the sub-counties undergo capacity building across all sectors of business to enable them to actively participate in local and international competitions.

“We will provide linkages, develop business incubators and equip ICT centres with free wifi for our youth to benefit by realizing their untapped potential in innovation,” added Governor Bii.

Governor Bii also challenged them to translate their ideas and venture into business-generating mechanisms, have persistence and never stop learning.

The County Chief added, “We are confident that you will take the price back home.”

Deputy Governor Eng. Barorot noted that Uasin Gishu county will sponsor Tarus to participate in this year’s JuaKali Nguvu Kazi trade fair which will take place on 5th December in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Plug Mtaani National Coordinator Geoffrey Kilonzo thanked the County for opening the doors for its youth to use the opportunity to think about wealth and innovation as well as enabling them to shift towards entrepreneurship.

Kilonzo said while carrying out vetting for the County, it was challenging choosing between the many winners because they proved to be very innovative reiterating their partnership with various stakeholders that will see these youths absorbed into various sectors.

County Executive Committee Member for Trade and Cooperatives Martha Cheruto said her docket will continue working on the youth-centric opportunities through capacity building, coaching and supporting youth innovations. Sentiments echoed by her counterpart for ICT Eng. Lucy Ng’endo.

The winners were awarded Ksh.100,000, Ksh. 50,000 and Ksh.30,000 respectively whereas national competition is set to see the top three winners go home with Ksh.10m, Ksh.5m and Ksh.2.5m

Chief of Staff Nicholas Chepkwony, Trade, Industrialization and Tourism Chief Officer Geoffrey Tanui, Directors Kipleting Mengich (Trade) Irene Kapting’ei (Industrialization and Investments), Margaret Aiyabei(Tourism), and various stakeholders were among present.