Applications have opened for the 2019 edition of Anzisha Prize, an initiative aimed at identifying and recognizing Africa’s most innovative social and business entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22. Young entrepreneurs who apply will have the opportunity to win a share of US$100,000, connect to a global network of leaders and receive business consulting support. The grand prize winner will win US$25,000, the 1st runner-up will receive US$15,000 and the 2nd runner-up will receive US$12,500.
The award competition is a partnership between African Leader Academy (ALA) and Mastercard Foundation. With the launch of the 9th annual Anzisha Prize, the organisers look forward to celebrating the stories of successful young African entrepreneurs such as the winner of last year’s prize, Melissa Bime. Melissa is a nursing graduate and the founder of INFIUSS, an online blood bank which has distributed over 3800 pints of blood across 28 hospitals in Yaounde, Cameroon. She emerged as a finalist and was flown to Johannesburg for an all expenses paid business accelerator run by the African Leadership Academy. At the end of the programme, she had the opportunity to pitch her business to a panel of renowned judges. Melissa was chosen as the winner due to her innovative business model that demonstrated the importance of job creation and scalability.
Applicants are advised that judging criteria requires them to show commitment to growing their venture into a job-creation engine with the ability to demonstrate their contribution to society. The goal of the initiative is to explore and expand leadership potentials in Africa by supporting innovative entrepreneurs. All the criteria can be found on Anzisha website at anzishaprize.org/apply.
The prize is open to young African entrepreneurs who have founded or co-founded a running business in any sector on the continent. Applications are open in English, Portuguese, Arabic, and French to encourage applicants from across the continent to recognize the diverse entrepreneurship efforts that are growing among very young Africans. The Anzisha Prize currently has 102 fellows within its network since the program started in 2011.
The prize boasts of entrepreneurs representing over 30 African countries within a diverse suite of sectors, calling on all nationalities to apply. Finalists selected will become a part of the growing number of entrepreneurs receiving targeted business and entrepreneurial support.
Funding avenues like this encourage entrepreneurship for young Africans, unlocking the potentials which lie in them and help impact the society positively.
In addition to the call for applications that close on 31 March 2019, the Anzisha Prize team will be visiting key regional hubs in the next few months to tell the stories of youth entrepreneurship as part of the annual Anzisha Tour. The 2019 tour cities will include Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire.