Anzisha Prize, a competition for Africa’s best young entrepreneurs has opened applications for its 2014 entrepreneurship prize for the most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22 aiming to give them over $75,000 in cash prizes.
Launched three years ago and hosted by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and The MasterCard Foundation, Anzisha Prize identifies exceptional young entrepreneurs to help them build successful startups.
According to Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize Program Manager, “This year, we’re determined to reach far and wide through our youth development partners, schools and the media to find the very best of Africa’s youngest entrepreneurial talent.
“We can’t wait to see what this year’s application process will uncover, and we encourage everyone to help us by nominating amazing young people in their own communities who have started a project or business with potential.”
Current Anzisha Fellows include Andrew Mupuya (2012, Uganda) who founded a paper-bag manufacturing empire; Kolawole Olajide (2013, South Africa/Nigeria), developer of online education platform Funda; rabbit farm owner Laetitia Mukungu (2012, Kenya); and information activist & Morsimeter.com developer Amr Sohby (2011, Egypt). Thirty-three Fellows have been selected since the awards were first held in 2011.
In addition to the cash prizes, the finalists are also flown to South Africa for a powerful one-week entrepreneurship program taught by ALA’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty, culminating in an awards ceremony that crowns the grand prize winners.
“The Anzisha Fellows are a group of exceptional young entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, improving lives, and forming a truly pan-African network of business innovators,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation said in a statement. “This Prize provides them with an opportunity to learn from each other, and develop skills to grow their businesses and make a greater impact in their communities.”
The Anzisha Prize seeks to find youth between the ages of 15 and 22 who have started and actively run a social venture or for-profit business with potential. The judging panel are looking for ventures that demonstrate ingenuity, scale and positive impact.
Other organizations working with Anzisha Prize include The Knowledge Institute (Swaziland), The District (Egypt), iEARN (Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Mali), AIESEC, Junior Achievement, among many others.
Aspiring fellows can apply directly online at anzishaprize.org or at the offices of any one of our 2014 country partners. Application forms are available in English, French or Arabic, and will be accepted through 1 April 2014.