African Leadership Academy in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation has announced 12 accomplished young entrepreneurs, among them two Nigerians, as finalists for the 2015 Anzisha Prize.
Finalists for the prize win a share of US$75,000 and access to ongoing support to scale their enterprises and expand their impact.
According to a statement by the organisers, “Anzisha Prize team scoured far and wide in an extensive search for African entrepreneurial talent between the ages of 15 and 22. The 12 finalists were selected from an impressive initial pool of 494 young entrepreneurs, up from 339 applications in 2014.
“The Anzisha Prize is proud to have attracted applicants from 33 African countries, with finalists from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia identified for the first time,” adding that applications were also received from a diversity of sectors, with agriculture having the most applicants.
Now in its fifth year, the Anzisha Prize will be celebrating these outstanding young people during Global Entrepreneurship Week joining the worldwide festivities.
The 12 finalists will be flown to Johannesburg for the 2015 Anzisha Week taking place from 12 – 18 November 2015 during which they will receive intensive training from African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty and engage with industry leaders as mentors.
A panel of judges from across the entrepreneurial sphere will deliberate to select the grand prize-winners at a gala function to be held on the evening of 17 November 2015.
“The finalists will grow the pool of Anzisha Fellows to 57 and receive ongoing support in the form of business consulting, professional development training and access to broader networking opportunities to accelerate the growth of their ventures and impact,” organisers said.
It added: “For the first time ever, the Prize is delighted that finalists have been selected from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Farai Munjoma, 18, provides courseware and career guidance to other youth in Zimbabwe. Hidaya Ibrahim, 21, co-founded an education venture that organizes capacity building activities for students to increase their critical thinking, analytical research and writing skills. Hidaya is among five female finalists, with four others originating from Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, and Rwanda.
“This year’s finalists have started ventures in a diversity of sectors including agriculture, technology, youth empowerment, education, and fashion. The large number of applicants in agricultural ventures reinforces the notion that Africa’s young entrepreneurs are focused on sectors that drive economic value in the African context.”
According to Grace Kalisha, Manager for the Anzisha Prize, “Entrepreneurship has significant potential to drive economic growth and improved livelihoods for African youth. We are proud to be celebrating and supporting these inspiring young leaders during Global Entrepreneurship Week, making them part of the global entrepreneurship narrative.”
The 2015 finalists are: Blessing Fortune Kwomo, 19, fromNigeria. She is co-founder of De Rehoboths Therapeutic Studio which extends home-based health care through tailored family action plans for treating illness and addressing root causes to empower families to live healthier within the context of their surroundings/ circumstances.
Chantal Butare, 21, from Rwanda is founder of Kinazi Dairy Cooperative (KIDACO) offering market access to 3,250 farmers through 10 milk collectors. Chantal packages and sells the milk for cattle owners in the community who have received cows in a government program, but have no market access.
Chris Kwekowe, 22, also from Nigeria is founder of Slatecube, an e-learning platform that allows learners to study ICT-related course work and be certified at their convenience, with 200 active users on the platform this year.
Ugandan, Daniel Mukisa, 21, co-founder of Transporter Company, provider of delivery services in Kampala using own branded fleet of 30 motorbikes, carrying out around 150 deliveries daily for corporate clients.
Fabrice Alomo, 22, from Cameroon. He is founder of MyAconnect, which is a web platform that aims to ease trade in Africa by digitizing what and how people buy, sell, and pay, through four user-friendly applications, with 128 companies currently utilizing the platforms.
Farai Munjoma, 18, from Zimbabwe. Co-founder of Shasha Iseminar, providing access to courseware content, past examination questions and answers, and career guidance to high school age kids. He also offers school fees contribution to kids from revenues earned, and carries out projects at orphanages.
Tanzanian, George Mtemahanji, 22, who co-founded SunSweet Solar, which designs, plans, organizes and brings solar energy to rural Tanzania. One of his projects was the construction of the largest solar energy system in Kilombero, at Benignis Girls Secondary School of Ifakara.
Ethiopian, Hidaya Ibrahim, 21, co-founder of Qine Association for Promoting Education Quality, an education venture that organizes capacity building activities for students to increase critical thinking, analytical research and writing skills, and convenes educational sector players for unique consultation on the quality of Ethiopian education.
Other finalists are Karidas Tshintsholo, 20, a South African and co-founder of Push Ismokol’, a clothing brand that employs six people in the Ekangala township of Pretoria, with significant pent up demand due to savvy marketing techniques.
Mabel Suglo, 22, from Ghana, is the co-founder of Echo Shoes, foot-wear business specializing in designing and making shoes from recycled waste, producing 30 pairs of shoes a month, and engaging persons with disabilities in the production process.
Another Tanzanian, Sirjeff Dennis, 21, founder of Jefren Afgrifriend Solutions (JAS) Poultry farming, raising 1,500 broiler chickens a month, and selling100 150kg bags of organic fertilizer a month.
Vanessa Zommi, 19, from Cameroon is the co-founder of Emerald Moringa Tea aimed at managing diabetes in her community by providing products which contain key antioxidants, currently producing 15 kg of output per month.
Koffi Assouan, Program Manager for the Youth Livelihoods Program at The MasterCard Foundation said, “Given the continued success of Anzisha at identifying a diverse pool of finalists that is representative of the potential and promise of Africa’s young entrepreneurial talent, The MasterCard Foundation is pleased to celebrate five years of the Anzisha Prize and continue in its partnership with African Leadership Academy until 2020. I am excited to welcome this year’s finalists to the Anzisha community.”