The Anzisha Prize program which is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation has just launched the call for 2019 applications. The prize is looking for 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, 1st runner-up will receive US$15,000 and 2nd runner-up will receive US$12,500.
With the launch of the 9th annual Anzisha Prize, the organisers look forward to celebrating the stories of successful entrepreneurship 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. When she was chosen as a finalist, she 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. All the criteria can be found on the Anzisha website at anzishaprize.org/apply.
The prize is open to very 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 recognise 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. We are proud to have our entrepreneurs represent over 30 African countries within a diverse suite of sectors. We encourage all nationalities to apply so that we can continue to support exceptional young job-starters who are improving lives and will become a part of a truly Pan-African network.” Josh Adler, VP of growth and entrepreneurship at African Leadership Academy.
Finalists selected will become a part of the growing number of entrepreneurs receiving targeted business and entrepreneurial support. 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.