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The Anzisha Prize Kicks Off Again with $100,000 Up for Grabs for African Entrepreneurs Under 22

The Anzisha Prize has opened the 2020 call for applications, in search of Africa’s top 20 African entrepreneurs under 22. The winners will also join their network of Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching.

By SWB Team

The Anzisha Prize –Africa’s premier award and fellowship for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs has opened  the 2020 call for applications, with $100,000 up for grabs for 20 African entrepreneurs under 22.

“It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent’s brightest and youngest entrepreneurs. With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we’ve been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years,” says, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

The grand prize winner receives US$25,000, the 1st runner-up US$15,000, and 2nd runner-up US$12,500. Every finalist receives US$2,500. In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners and become Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts. They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund – a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment.

The 2019 Grand Prize Winner was Yannick Kimanuka from Kinshasa, DRC. Yannick founded The KIM’s School Complex – a nursery and primary school which aims to improve access to education in her community.

To celebrate the decennial, the Anzisha Prize has planned five regional events across the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya. The events end in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where the 2020 winners will be announced. Each event is designed to catalyze conversations around youth entrepreneurship and to gather key stakeholders within the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with and support these young entrepreneurs.

“The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation. “Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply.”

Young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-22 years old, who are running job generative businesses, are encouraged to apply before 31 March 2020. Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka from Democratic Republic Congo (DRC). Yannick grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern Province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education. By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM’s School Complex – a nursery and primary school which aims to improve the education of young children in her community.

The 2019 2nd runner up prize went to Cecil Chickezie, founder of Eco Makaa, an e-commerce company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base.

As the program continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one. To encapsulate the last 10 years of the program, the Anzisha Prize has chosen the word ‘Sankofa’ in the Ghanaian Twi language, which means “We have the capacity to revisit the past and extract knowledge and wisdom that we need to remake the future.”

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply, and to nominate an entrepreneur click here.

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