Meet The Blaze BYOB Eldoret Summit Winners 2017

Blaze BYOB Eldoret winners
[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 Eldoret summit took place this past weekend at Eldoret Sports Club. Before the summit, there was a two-day creation 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.

Of the youths that underwent the intense training, only six would emerge winners with each 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

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

“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.

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

“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.”

Check out some of her work


Collins Rutto, 25

Business Idea: Textile manufacturing

Category: Retail & Manufacturing

Collins Rutto is the founder and CEO of Sunpride Garments, a textile manufacturing facility in Eldoret


“I got much more than I expected through the platform from Wycliffe & Catherine from their own life lessons & business acumen, I would suggest the same to be taken where needed most – The Campuses nationally and help other youths develop a mindset for entrepreneurship at an early stage.

I pitched on Retail and Manufacturing. I represent The Team at Sunpride garments a textile manufacturing facility within Eldoret where we tailor make corporate, hospitality, security, protective & school uniforms.

I intend to refine & redefine my space from the boot camp info I received at Blaze, For me Growth is imperative, and with a Definite R&D strategy. I hope to Expand & Mentor others to join me in my journey.”

Phyllis Wanja, 22

Business Idea: Charcoal Art Painting for Therapy

Category: Creative Arts

Phyllis receiving her Ksh 100,000 reward for her Charcoal Art Painting for Therapy business idea

“I had such a great experience. The mentors were so inspiring, and the training met all my expectations. Guys had great business ideas. The impact was so significant that I changed the way I perceive life, confirming that everything is possible in life, one just needs to believe, put God first, have a clear image of what he or she wants, work towards it with GRIT.(Greatness Requires Internal Toughness.)

Healing Life organization is a business idea that targets people with mental issues, addiction, depression, stress and young children. It assists them in expressing themselves in a better way, in understanding themselves deeply, in managing their emotions and feelings and also help them to reduce stress and overcome addiction by using creative process of making Art. This is because Art is therapeutic, thus leading to improvement of a person’s physical, mental and emotional well being.

I will share my idea with Art therapists who will help to facilitate the actualization of the idea as well as carry on with the research to get clear details of the number of patients that are in existence. I also intend to incorporate some artists in the business. Lastly, I plan to use the capital to purchase materials that can kick-start the business idea.”

Eric Rotich, 26

Business Idea: Matching Undergarments for men [like lingerie]

Category: Fashion

Eric Rotich is the founder of Emperor House of Fashion

“My business idea is called Soxy Underwear, its a new company I am starting that produces matching socks and boxers/briefs. For me to actualize the idea I just need funds so that I get into the production, marketing and distribution… part which blaze has helped.

My experience at the boot camp was amazing I learnt a lot, from the mentors’ Joy Kendi and Nick Ondu…. I got to interact with other creative minds, listen to their brilliant ideas and also learn from them.”

Joseph Kariuki, 20

Business Idea: Rap/Freestyling and Merchandising

Category: Music

Rapper Joseph want to change the Kenyan Music industry through music and merchandising

“Blaze BYOB Eldoret Creation Camp was enjoyable, competitive and a learning experience. The mentors were extremely friendly and helpful.

My business idea is about transforming Kenyan music from local to international by first laying down a strong foundation locally. My business will focus on educating and changing the society by preaching positive vibe through my rapping talent and my movement named JYMA. Once established, we will sign up musicians, create a clothing line where our merchandise will bear our logo, then sign a contract with electronic companies for them to design electronics with our logo. We will also buy ideas from the youths and make them partners in the co-operation by offering them shares in the company.

I am planning on saving the cash in a bank with high rates so it can earn interest that will help in jump-starting my project.”

We congratulate each of the winners and every youth who participated at the Blaze BYOB Elodret creation camp.


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