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Global Impact Award Gives $50K to Promising WashU Startup

Sydney Everett (Staff)
April 27, 2021

Following an expectation-defying twenty-two-week program, the winner of the 2021 Global Impact Award has been selected. Guided by the mission established by the generous donors of the award, Suren G. Dutia (BS ’53, AB ’67, MS ’67) and Jas K. Grewal, the winner was awarded because they are scalable, sustainable, and quick-to-market with profitability and broad impact.

Out of the impressive 2021 finalists, Golden Roots Essentials and founder Fanta Kaba (MBA, Olin Business School Class of 2021) is the winner and will receive the $50,000 cash prize. Golden Roots Essentials is a natural, holistic, and luxurious lifestyle brand focused on personal care, beauty, and style. The venture utilizes overlooked centuries-old traditional African skincare rituals and ingredients to create innovative healthy skincare products.

With her GIA win, Fanta is building on her 3rd place award in the Fall 2020 Skandalaris Venture Competition, which she sites as helping to grow her network.

GIA has allowed Golden Roots Essentials to discover more about itself as a brand. “It feels surreal and awesome, like this dream I have actually means something, considering the fact that other people believe in it. This process has given me the opportunity to rebirth my brand”, shared Fanta. “Now I have a very strong understanding about how to move forward.”

“We are thrilled to award Fanta and Golden Roots with the Global Impact Award,” shared Skandalaris Center Managing Director and Washington University Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship II Luscri. “Fanta has been involved in nearly every entrepreneurial opportunity we have; it has been an honor to see her develop from a student in my class to a world-class founder.”

The Global Impact Award winner was announced as part of the 2021 WashU Entrepreneurship Awards. To watch this year’s awards, visit the Skandalaris Center YouTube page.

Congratulations to Golden Roots Essentials and the rest of this year’s winners!