Yousif Yahya ’16, Sigma Pi alumnus
Throughout my time at Ursinus, I always knew I would go back home to Sudan, but did not know how or when. I spent my first few years at Ursinus really discovering who I am as a person, what I stand for, and soon developed the first blueprint for what came to be Savannah Innovation Labs.
Savannah Innovation Labs (Savannah) is a leading incubator/consulting firm in Sudan, and a soon-to-be venture studio that also serves as an art gallery. At the get-go, I thought it couldn’t be done because there aren’t any similar business models, but, funny enough, it is working.
The multidisciplinary curriculum at Ursinus allowed me to critically question things around me and not to accept the narrative as-is, but to question it. This was very important for building my character and a key driver to my success.
Soon after, I moved to Sudan and worked in different positions that helped me finance and kick start Savannah. I worked for an agricultural company doing business development for them, leading the expansion of their operations, and establishing their first processing facility in Turkey. Soon after, I started at the Ministry of Finance in Sudan, working on the Sudan Family Support Program, the largest universal basic income program of its kind in the world.
Sudan is undergoing a lot of political instability and struggles, and I feel passionate that Savannah can play a role to equip Sudanese youth with the right skillsets to envision and build the Sudan they want. I also would love to help revitalize a carefully hewn bridge of trade and foreign direct investment between East Africa and global investors.