Blog

Gloria Clement chosen for global YSI + Yara Innovation Program

Thea Sokolowski, Thursday April 4th 2019

MEST Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) in the Class of 2019 continue to win awards, gain acceptance to global programs and make strides around the world. Gloria Clement, an EIT from Tanzania, has recently been accepted into 2019’s global innovation program from Young Sustainable Impact (YSI) and YARA International.

Gloria at MEST in Accra, Ghana

Gloria is one of just 26 young entrepreneurs selected for the program from among a global pool of 12,500 applicants. These young leaders will form eight teams, of which two will be under both YSI and Yara and take part in a 5-month online incubation program, culminating in a trip to Oslo, Norway. Their focus is on creating sustainable and impactful startups, in an effort to solve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“We get paired in teams of 3-4 people. On my team, one person is from Morocco, one from the US and one from Syria. We’re working on digital farming, solving SDG 2 - zero hunger,” Gloria said.

For teams working under Yara and YSI, their focus will be on empowering women through digital farming and disrupting the food value chain. “The demand for food is projected to increase by 50-70% between now and 2050. The world cannot increase food production simply by sticking with a business-as-usual model,” YSI reports. “How can we bring to life a new generation of female agripreneurs?”

In August, Gloria and her team will head to Oslo to meet in person with the rest of the cohort and pitch their business in front of investors. “We are meant to create a solution on digital farming that will improve food production as well as the lives of female agripreneurs. We will be under mentorship from both sides for the whole duration.”

For Gloria, the opportunity to apply to the YSI program was a no-brainer. After launching full force into a diverse network of ambitious entrepreneurs at MEST, she wanted to further her opportunity to work with different people from around the world, specifically on agriculture initiatives.

“YSI was always in my focus. I am so excited to be selected  because I’ve worked for an agriculture startup in Tanzania, and I wanted to find out more about what I can do for my country in this space. I’m really excited about this opportunity to learn from other people on a diverse team and solve real problems.”

Being part of the MEST Training Program has enabled Gloria to learn how to take full advantage of opportunities like the global innovation program while balancing her work and learning during the 1-year program - in true entrepreneurial fashion. Gloria feels the foundation she’s gained from the MEST program has set her up for success in this new venture.

“Honestly MEST has prepared me for more than I can say. I had always done things on my own before, but seeing how people do things differently, learning about their markets and looking at problems rather than solutions, MEST has changed my way of thinking. I understand why it’s important to focus on problems; I’ve learned go to market strategies, lean methodology, how to create business models, and even software development. MEST has done a lot – it has changed me a great deal. 90% of things I know right now I can say I’ve learned from MEST.”

We wish Gloria all the best as she dives into this amazing opportunity. Learn more about YSI startups here, and be sure to follow her progress as she prepares to head to Oslo!