Two Nigerians, Abdulwaheed Alayande and Emmanuel Okon made the cut among 20 finalists to contend for the $25,000 Anzisha Prize for young African Entrepreneurs.
Over 500 budding African entrepreneurs applied for the award, across Africa. The winner will be announced at the ninth Anzisha Prize Forum on 22 October in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Alayande is the founder of TREP LABS, an enterprise offering a product called REALDRIP, which is an infusion meter that makes blood transfusion and drip treatment simpler and safer. Okon founded Vmedkit – a health company that focuses on alleviating mental illnesses using virtual reality technology.
The Anzisha Prize, an African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation partnership, is dedicated to identifying, supporting and celebrating young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-22 on the continent whose ideas, ventures and businesses harness the power to redefine and reimagine Africa’s growth trajectory.
Applicants from Somalia to Chad showcased their business acumen with enterprises that provide solutions to some of the continent’s biggest problems.
According to the organisers, the Prize Forum has been stepped up from being just a gala event.
Invited guests will experience a new format, including a day-long affair where they will have an opportunity to get to know and understand the young entrepreneurs’ journeys. They will share in an immersive experience where they will better understand the world of youth entrepreneurship – from expert panels to experiential workshops. The event will be a bevy of innovative discussions and activities.
“This year, we’re particularly excited about the new format. We’ve created a tailored experience that will allow people to explore the Anzisha movement in all its entirety,” said Melissa Mbazo, Anzisha Program Manager. “From start to finish, the day will look at shaping the future of entrepreneurship on the continent and young entrepreneurs will be at the helm, steering the conversations.”
While the candidates are from various sectors, agricultural businesses submitted the highest number of applications this year. Excitingly, for the very first time, finalists from The Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia have been chosen as part of the 2019 cohort.
The Anzisha Prize Forum
The top 20 will gather in Johannesburg for a 12-day accelerator boot camp where they will be coached by local and global experts in preparation for the independent judging panel who will decide the winner of the $25,000 USD Grand Prize. The boot camp marks the start of the Anzisha Prize fellowship, through which each entrepreneur will access coaching support, market access services and further funding opportunities.
“Africa’s greatest asset is its young people and the Anzisha Prize Forum, now in its ninth year, is a testament to their passion and creativity,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “Their commitment to the continent is reflected in the very nature of the businesses they choose, often focussed on social good and on improving the lives of those around them.”
All the 20 finalists:
Asia Saeed, 20, Somalia: Founder of 2doon, a social enterprise established to reduce unemployment for the Somalian youth.
Godiragetse Fareed Mogajane, 21, South Africa: Founder of Goodie tutors, a tutoring agency which provides extra tutorial classes by offering one-on-one tutoring; university pre-exam workshops, and exam-focused math workshops for high school students.
Marvellous Nyongoro, 22, Zimbabwe: Founder of The Housing Hub, a service provision platform founded by Marvellous that uses smart technology.
Velache Coker, 19, Sierra Leone: Founder of Canaan Farms. Canaan Farms is an agribusiness and distribution company with two branches that grow various produce (watermelon, okra, cassava, etc.).
Emmanuel Owusu Agyei, 22, Ghana: Founder of Campus Trends Ghana, a marketing firm providing advice, as well as qualitative and communications services to bridge the gap between the firm and the student market.
Jaritou Jallow, 21, Gambia: Founder of Yonima Errands Runner, an enterprise founded by Jariatou which provides business errands such as business registration, bank account openings, administrative duties, etc.
Caleb Annobil, 21, Ghana: Founder of High School Water Product, an enterprise which customises sachet water to sell to students at affordable prices.
Christian Kassahun, 21, Ethiopia: Co-founder of GebeyaNet, an agricultural E-Commerce platform that connects smallholder farmers with the market and also facilitates logistics and payment systems for them.
Mamadjang Jallow, 20, Gambia: Founder of Jallow Trading, a small-scale horticultural gardening venture founded by Mamadjang. It produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which he then sells to vendors and households around his region.
Saudah Birungi, 22, Uganda: Saudah co-founded Tusafishe, which is an enterprise that constructs water filters using locally available materials for students in rural schools and in their homes to provide them with safe drinking water.
Olipah Chomba, 22, Zambia: Founder of Poultry, an enterprise which orders broiler chicken, nurtures them for a period of six weeks by providing them with the necessary vaccines and medicine.
Osvaldo Mokouma, 19, Republic of Congo: Founder of AquagriTech, an enterprise that enhances urban bio-waste to produce natural food from fish that are put in a closed circuit with plants that assimilate the droppings of fish for their growth.
Segbe Accrombessi, 22, Benin: Founder of Kawan Africa, an enterprise which produces and sells tomato puree. They set up workshops to train young girls to produce the puree and then become wholesalers who buy their products to sell them afterwards.
Balbina Gulam, 21, Tanzania: Founder of Huduma Smart, an enterprise that trains domestic workers and provides a job market for them.
Catherine Nalukwago, 22, Uganda: Catherine is the co-founder of Vertical and Micro Gardening, an enterprise that has developed a product called The Vertical Farm, which makes urban farming a viable micro-enterprise for low-income households.
Cecil Chikezie, 21, Kenya: Founder of Eco Makaa, a company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base by recruiting the community’s small-scale briquette producers who collectively produce standardised briquettes.
Abdulwaheed Alayande, 21, Nigeria: Founder of TREP LABS, an enterprise offering a product called REALDRIP, which is an infusion meter that makes blood transfusion and drip treatment simpler and safer.
Emmanuel Okon, 22, Nigeria: Okon founded Vmedkit – a health company that focuses on alleviating mental illnesses using virtual reality technology.
Raghda Medhat, 22, Egypt: Founder of Internsvalley, a system that connects fresh software engineers who seek work experience with international early stage start-ups through practical remote internships and job opportunities.
Yannick Kimanuka, 21, DRC: The KIM’s School Complex, founded by Yannick in 2018, is a nursery and primary school which aims to reduce the trend of intellectual disability found in children from her community.