Sydney Ochieng and Ziyaan Virji (Aga Khan Academy Mombasa) Win $5,000 Entrepreneurship Seed Grants

On March 4, not three, but four student-run ventures received $5,000 seed grants from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE). The unrestricted funding is accompanied with training, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace, and other resources from the Patricelli Center.

On March 1, six finalists pitched for a panel of judges in Allbritton 311.

“As always, the competition was steep, and the judges had a tough time selecting grantees,” said Makaela Kingsley ’98, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “In fact, this year they decided to make a special donation to the Patricelli Center so we could offer four grants instead of the usual three.”

These $5,000 awards are intended to fund the launch or early stage growth of a social enterprise, project, program, or venture. Projects or ventures must address a social problem; be sustainable, scalable, and/or replicable; and have a potential for impact. Entries can be for-profit, nonprofit, hybrid, or have no legal structure.

“This program is all about giving students a chance to develop and test their leadership skills and their ideas for social change,” Kingsley said. “Wesleyan’s mission is to ‘offer an education characterized by boldness, rigor, and practical idealism,’ and programs like the PCSE Seed Grant embody that mission and help students turn theory into practice.”


Accessible and Affordable Sanitation for Women
Sydney Ochieng ’22 and Ziyaan Virji (Aga Khan Academy Mombasa)

AASW is a student-run initiative that seeks to increase access to proper sanitation for young schoolgirls in Mombasa, Kenya. AASW empowers girls globally to self-produce their own menstrual materials sustainably and aims to break down the social stigma of menstruation locally. Its goal is to provide a safe, cost-effective, eco-friendly, and long-lasting alternative for menstrual care.


Follow Ziyaan and his team’s incredible work on their “official” FB page

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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