Maxine’s Village Business Grant

The Maxine’s Village Business Grant honors the memory of Maxine Edelman, mother, world traveler, artist and collector. Her delight in the wide world was undiminished by age or infirmity. As her mobility declined and her own world shrank, she harnessed her creativity to bring the outside world into her own room. Using shoeboxes, recycled odds and ends, found objects, children’s toys and collage, Maxine built a village, each room reflecting a different locale. In its chaotic, diverse, creative vision, Maxine’s Village represents the global and the local: the intersection of our big world and our small worlds of community, family, and home. The Maxine’s Village Business Grant seeks to honor that vision by supporting small entrepreneurs all over the world, growing their local ecosystems through positive and creative business development.

Selection Criteria - Characteristics


Maxine’s Village Business Grant is OPEN and welcoming to Entrepreneurs regardless of their background, race, religion or any other differences. Entrepreneurs are invited to be themselves and to “come as you are.” In the same spirit of diversity, business solutions from diverse industries and business sectors are very welcome.

Global/Local Impact

The product or service must have a positive impact on the local communities of the inventor and the potential to assist those in the global community. A product or service that strives for the betterment of lives in both the local and global communities is imperative.


The business and/or entrepreneur can fulfil the creative requirement by demonstrating innovative aspects within the design of the product or service. Those with a stronger creative dimension have an advantage.


The entrepreneur must excel in leadership. Leadership qualities can be measured by personal integrity and commitment, having key objectives, and determination for business growth.


The entrepreneur can demonstrate passion by approaching their work with enthusiasm and by setting goals for their business or service. Being passionate and driven is an integral part of this program.


This requirement can be fulfilled by the Entrepreneur demonstrating positive solutions despite obstacles that they may face personally or professionally. The business service or solution may be a positive solution to a negative situation. Or the entrepreneur’s history may include a negative “setting” from which the entrepreneur has emerged through positive actions.


Age of Entrepreneur

There is no age requirement for this grant

Business stage

All business stages are eligible

Geographical Scope: Global.

Applicants to this grant can come from any world region

How to Apply

Grants are awarded during the “Action Journey” phase of the UPG Biashara experience. And the specific details of each grant are communicated to all those selected as Candidates to become UPG Biashara Entrepreneurs.

Each year UPG Biashara Entrepreneurs are considered for this grant. To become a UPG Biashara Entrepreneur, please take action below

Meet the Winner of 2022

Grant Prize: $5000

As the first recipient of the Maxine’s Village Grant, he finds the opportunity a great honour from the grantors who he has great respect and love for. The grant, will enable Afredia to develop her innovative tech platforms which include a hybrid website and mobile applications. The grant will also set Afredia running and cater to its foundational needs including staff renumeration. Samuel believes Maxine’s Village Grant will greatly contribute to his works of impact done for young Africans through the symbiotic relationship between Afredia and her sister organization; PAN – as Afredia aims to commit some percentage of its earnings to the development works of PAN. He encourages young people to embrace entrepreneurship skills especially through the UPG Biashra programme.

United People Global 2022 Grant Winner
Olalekan Samuel Ajayi

Olalekan Samuel Ajayi is a He is a graduate of Law from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a United People Global Sustainability Leader as well as a UPG Biashara Entrepreneur. As a big believer in young people and their capacity to deliver transformative change, he founded Project Africa Now (PAN) a youth-led organization using media among other tools to drive and inspire young Africans towards creating positive change. With his team at PAN, his works on leadership and entrepreneurship skills building have impacted over 500 young Africans from 18 countries. He is a recipient of over 30 honorary awards and once spoke at an auditorium of 50,000 capacity at the age of 17.

Samuel believes the media is the greatest tool in the hands of young Africans who form the largest youth group in the world. Capitalizing on this huge market, he is building Afredia, a media company which will be Africa’s first youth focused media portfolio curating news and youth-culture contents for young people. Afredia is passionate about youth culture, news and Africanness believing their ideas shape the future.
Samuel aims to be a symbol of hope for young Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds by showing and training them through his works that there is no limit to what they can achieve.

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Thank you for your interest.

If you are already a UPG Biashara Entrepreneur, then please check the private area on the UPG Forum for instructions about how to apply.

If you are not yet a UPG Biashara Entrepreneur, then please apply to become one here

If you would like to learn more about UPG Biashara, then please contact us here