The Anzisha Prize is aimed at young people who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to tackle social challenges or have started successful businesses within their communities that have benefited all and sundry.
From the numerous applications received, 12 of Africa’s youngest, most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22 will be selected for the finals of the event, which is now in its sixth year.
Each of the 12 finalists will receive a US$7,500 fellowship package courtesy of ALA’s Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U). The package includes the Anzisha Week boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network and business equipment.
“It is essential that we nurture young, African entrepreneurial talent if we want to see the economic gains we all hope for in the future,” says Koffi Assouan, programme manager for the Anzisha Prize at The MasterCard Foundation.
He added, “Through the provision of leadership skills, access to finance and business networking opportunities, these young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to improve their lives and the lives of others.”
The grand prize winner, chosen by a group of unbiased judges, will take home US$25,000 with the 1st runner-up receiving US$15,000 and 2nd runner-up receiving US$12,500. The remaining nine finalists will receive US$2,500 each.
In a bid to recognise Anzisha Fellows who have created further social and economic value through their ventures by effectively leveraging the opportunities provided by the fellowship with ALA, a new category has been created, with the winner scooping US$25,000
Interested African national under the age of 22 with an active project, social venture or for-profit business based on the continent can apply for the award. Applications closes on April 15, 2016.
The finalists will be announced in September while the Anzisha Prize Week & Awards Ceremony will take place in November, 2016.
“The true impact of our work is only possible if we can find the top entrepreneurial potential wherever it may be,” comments Grace Kalisha, manager of the Anzisha Program at African Leadership Academy.
She added, “If anyone out there has seen or heard of young people running amazing projects or businesses, we want to hear from you!”
Nigerian entrepreneur and technology consultant, Chris Kwekowe, won the 2015 Anzisha Prize, carting home the grand prize of US$25,000. His startup, Slatecube, which offers a job-relevant skills learning platform and job placement services, impressed the judges.
The Anzisha Prize, termed Africa’s premier award for our young entrepreneurs, is the brainchild of the African Leadership Academy, and is sponsored by The MasterCard Foundation and Louis Dreyfus Foundation.