Applications are open for the 2017 Zambezi Prize, which is aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, encouraging the flow of capital to financial inclusion ventures, and advancing entrepreneurship and financial inclusion to fuel broad-based prosperity.

The Zambezi Prize is presented by the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and The MasterCard Foundation. Collectively, these organizations focus on entrepreneurship and financial inclusion as catalysts for broad-based prosperity in low-income countries—unlocking the potential of ordinary citizens to improve their livelihoods.

  • The Zambezi Prize awards $200K USD annually to support ventures that contribute to financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The first place winner receives $100K USD. An additional $100K USD is divided among second and third place winners and a small group of finalists.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The prize is open to a wide spectrum of financial inclusion ventures demonstrating innovation and potential for impact, financial sustainability, and scalability.
  • The venture must advance financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The venture must be in its early stages, having progressed beyond concept.
  • Ventures could include – but are not limited to – electronic payment systems, customer-centered payment plans, new financial products, or mobile banking instruments.
  • The venture must have a founder or co-founder that work or plan to work full-time on the venture.
  • If selected as finalists, ventures must have a founder or co-founder to attend MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston in January 2018

Deadline: September 30th 2017.

Visit Zambezi Prize for more info.