Venture Garden Group (VGG), Africa’s first tech holding company building and scaling innovative, data-driven companies, launched its non-profit organization Venture Garden Foundation (VGF). As part of this launch, a chess tournament was held in conjunction with Chess in Slums, an impact initiative run by Chess in Slums Africa.
The mission of VGF is to empower and unlock the potential of individuals who today lack access to opportunities for productivity. VGF intends to power ambitious social impact initiatives willing to scale their impact exponentially across the continent by tackling four key challenges faced by nonprofits: structure, technology, partnerships and funding.
VGF’s flagship program at launch is the Talent Initiative, a community-focused program to help disadvantaged children and youths between 5 and 25 years break the cycle of poverty using talent and globally appreciated skills. VGF will be powering partners with existing programs such as the Chess-in-Slums to scale their impact. At the launch, VGF hosted 50 children from the Chess in Slums programme, who played a double elimination chess tournament against staff and management of VGG and were rewarded with several prizes including full ride education scholarships for the top 4 chess players.
Kunmi Demuren, Cofounder VGG and Board of Trustee member VGF, while announcing that VGF will be launching other Talent Initiative partnerships like the CodingKids Initiative, alongside Spark Foundation and similar programmes for art, sports and music; commented that, “after 10 pioneering years of venture building and innovation across Africa through VGG, we have learned that one of the most effective ways to build the Africa we want is to focus on empowerment, whether it be social empowerment, community empowerment, youth empowerment, or women empowerment. VGF is our response to the urgent need to act now and bridge the social gap created by the gender discrimination and lack of opportunities that African youths face.”
Today, VGF has several initiatives it supports such as the Garden Women Network, TechStar Amazon, University hackathons and an Out of School Outreach Programme. Through the newly launched Talent Initiative, VGF will be powering the Chess in Slums with an administrative workspace and a location for hosting Chess in Slums tournaments at the Vibranium Valley. Garden Social Ventures (GSV) will also be working with CISA to design its strategy, team and implementation frameworks; and will leverage its experience to support CISA with fundraising alongside other advisory services.
Tunde Onakoya, Convener of Chess in Slums Africa, added, “today marked an incredible launch for VGF and their partnership with our organization. Chess in Slums is committed to 1million children over the next 5years, and with VGF’s support we are reassured that we can advance on this mission. We look forward to working with VGF to create opportunities for disadvantaged youths across Africa.”
ABOUT VENTURE GARDEN GROUP
VGG is Africa’s first tech holding company that invests in developing, scaling, and spinning off innovative companies that provide solutions for key impact sectors like transportation, energy, education, and financial services. VGG has developed some of Africa’s leading tech companies such as AviTech, EduTech, PowerTech, TripsEdge and more; all of which have contributed to improving the daily lives of Africans across the continent. VGG approaches technology development through rigorous R&D led by its African team, empowering the company’s mission to prioritize training and developing local African talent.
ABOUT CHESS IN SLUMS
Chess in Slums Africa is a non- profit organization using the noble game of chess to help young underprivileged children in slum communities realize their full potential by integrating principles of the game with management of daily challenges in life, enhancing abstract thinking, creativity, and innovation