The Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award and fellowship for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs has announced that the 2020 call for applications is open until March 31.
Every year, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, under the age of 22 years, each of whom have a chance to win a shared prize of $100,000 (R1 493 085).
The grand prize winner receives $25 000 (R373 271), the first runner-up $15 000 (R223 962), and second runner-up $12,500 (R186 635). Every finalist receives $2,500(R37 327).
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.
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They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund, a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment.
“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,”, deputy director of the Anzisha Prize, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong said.
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 programme that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” regional head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation Daniel Hailu, said.
“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 and 22 years old, who are running job generative businesses, are encouraged to apply before 3 March.
Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Yannick grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern province of the 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 that aims to improve the education of young children in her community.
As the programme continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one, the organisation said.
Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at anzishaprize.org.