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Vella Abur wins Entrepreneurship award

Pestalozzi alumnus, Vella Abur, won 3rd prize in the McGill Dobson Cup for Entrepreneurship in the Social Enterprise Track for her company Yonja. The award included seed funding of $3000 to invest in the company which they are about the launch in her home country of Uganda. The Dobson Cup is McGill’s flagship annual start up competition where they award over $150,000 in seed funding to the most promising McGill start-ups.


Vella and her team have developed a mobile application where urban dwellers can request for waste collection; garbage and faecal waste from pit latrines. They have service providers on the platform and all the sanitation facilities have been mapped out. They have received a commitment letter from the city authorities and Vella’s goal is to provide garbage bins for different households so they can separate their recycling, bio and non-recyclables. If they secure more funding they will decide what to do with recycling at landfills.

Vella receiving award Photo credit: Brock Jenken, McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Vella was the only MasterCard scholar to make it to the finals and has worked tremendously hard to set this up alongside her university studies. She is currently studying at McGill University in in Quebec, Canada.

Vella commented "I’m grateful for the Business Meets Students program at Pestalozzi -a big thank you to Graham Card”.

This is only the beginning and we look forward to hearing more about the success of Yonja and how it helps improve waste management and sanitation in Kampala, Uganda.


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