Kenyan students Lennox Omondi, Keylie Muthoni, Dulla Shiltone and Brian Ndung’u won the global finals of the 2022 Hult Prize for their business innovation. They beat five other finalists and were awarded $1 million (Sh120 million) to boost their business.

Eco-bana Ltd is a start-up that makes biodegradable sanitary pads using banana fibre. So the idea aims to stop plastic manufacturing by providing biodegradable sanitary pads to end period poverty.

 The Hult Prize is a competition supported by the United Nations and former US president Bill Clinton to support innovative university students who seek to solve societal challenges like food security, education, and water access among others. Every year, the winner takes home $1 million (KSh 120 million) in funding to support the idea and make it a reality. The event was held during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, US. And former US President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address.

The Hult 2022 Prize was such a joyful celebration of innovation and sustainability in business. All our finalists did incredible pitches today, but there could only be one winner. Huge congratulations to Eco-Bana Ltd,” Hult Business School said in a tweet.

The team hopes to use the prize money for mass-producing the sanitary towels once paperwork, certification, and approval from the Ministry of Health are completed. “This win is not for us, this win is for our sisters and your daughters. We believe in changing the lives of girls all over the world,” Chief Financial Officer Dullah Shiltone said earlier on when they emerged top in Johannesburg.

Eco-bana founders

President William Ruto congratulates Eco-bana

Congratulations to Eco-Bana, a Kenyan social venture started by four university students, that has just won the prestigious Hult Prize and a cash award of 1 million dollars,” Ruto said.

While congratulating the group of students, Ruto said the innovation is a hustler’s spirit that he is keen to support.

The prize is awarded to entrepreneurs who strive to tackle pressing global issues through innovation. The firm makes hygienic sanitary pads from banana fibres. This is the Hustler Spirit that we are keen to support,” said President Ruto.

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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