2018 Anzisha Prize opens calls for applications

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The annual Anzisha Prize has launched the 2018 call for applications for Africa’s most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22.

Applicants 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 take home $25,000, the first runner-up will receive $15,000 and second runner-up will receive $12,500. The Anzisha Prize program is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation that was established in 2011.

“The Anzisha Prize has been running for more than five years and we are at a stage where we can showcase the success of very young entrepreneurs so they can serve as relatable and reachable examples to their peers”.

Said Melissa Mbazo, Programs Manager for Anzisha Prize.

“A key goal for the Anzisha Prize is to celebrate the power of youth-led businesses in Africa to create jobs and viable livelihoods. Identifying and telling the stories of successful, relevant and young African entrepreneurs will inspire youth across the African continent,” added Mbazo.

Seventh Anzisha Prize

With the seventh Anzisha Prize application phase now open, the organizers are excited to announce the launch of the Anzisha Prize Tour where young entrepreneurs will travel to South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon to offer lessons as Africa’s youngest business owners.

The entrepreneurs are part of the Anzisha fellowship. One business owner is Maemu Lambani, a 21-year-old young woman from South Africa who started her own digital marketing agency with the goal of transforming local businesses into global brands. She will be joined by Koffi N’guessan, 21, from Ivory Coast who founded an ambitious initiative that produces and markets food crops. Fellows such as Maemu and Koffi will host speaking engagements and events with organizations throughout Africa.

“The Anzisha Prize has significantly invested in the transformative power of African youth,” says Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “It is exciting to see these young entrepreneurs ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in their peers as they share their compelling and inspirational stories about the impact their ventures has had on their families and communities.”

The prize is open to any African national between the ages of 15 and 22 who has founded or co-founded a currently operational social venture or for-profit business in any sector in Africa. Judging criteria includes a commitment by applicants to grow their venture into a job-creation engine that contributes to their community. Additional criteria can be found in the application materials.

Applications close on 31 March 2018 and the Prize tour will commence prior to the deadline. Individuals and organizations interested in sharing stories of social impact are advised to contact the Anzisha Prize team and join them for the Prize tour for an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs such as Grand Prize winners Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate (Ivory Coast) and Yaye Souadou Fall (Senegal).

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