Originally established in 2007 by the Legatum Group, the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship are now hosted by the African Leadership Network (ALN). ALN believes that the surest way for Africa to create prosperity is through entrepreneurship. In line with this, ALN hopes to inspire as many Africans as possible to pursue the path of entrepreneurship through the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship recognize and award exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability.
Since its inception, AAE has attracted more than 7,000 applications from African businesses and awarded prizes of over USD 1.5 million to 30 leading companies.
The AAE’s objectives are to:
- Create a platform to spotlight and celebrate business excellence in Africa
- Build a strong network of African entrepreneurs as role models and a source of best practice
- Promote entrepreneurship as a driving force for Africa’s prosperity
- Encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship
- Attract venture capital inflows towards good businesses across the continent
There are five award categories which recognize entrepreneurs at different stages of the entrepreneurial cycle.
- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Awarded to a senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades and has left an enduring legacy of success in Africa
- TRANSFORMATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD – Awarded to a notable business leader who has created significant socio-economic impact in Africa by building a business with revenues greater than USD 50 million
- OUTSTANDING MATURE BUSINESS AWARD – A USD 100,000 prize to a business leader who has built a company with revenues between US$ 5 million and US$ 50 million
- OUTSTANDING SMALL AND GROWING BUSINESS AWARD – A USD 50,000 prize to a young remarkable African business with revenues between USD 500,000 and USD 5 million
- OUTSTANDING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD (NEW) – A USD 50,000 prize awarded to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship while sustainably addressing the socioeconomic development of low-income communities in Africa. To be eligible, the organisation, which may be structured as a non-profit or for-profit must: have been founded or be currently run by an African citizen; demonstrate annual revenues of between USD 150,000 and USD 2.5 million in the last financial year; and be primarily focused on social return.
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship 2013 is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs with firms that are fully registered in the continent and that:
- Have revenues of over USD 150,000 for social entrepreneurs and over USD 500,000 for all other categories
- Have been profitable for the last two consecutive years
- Are independent, that is, not a subsidiary of a foreign entity
- Are free of legal actions
Nominees will be selected through a rigorous and transparent selection process. A team of business analysts, auditors and market and sector experts will review and shortlist the most outstanding nominations across each of the five categories.
The Finalists will be judged by an international panel of leading business experts through interviews and comprehensive reviews of company reports based on the following criteria:
- Sustainability and innovation
- Profitability and growth
- Long-term business strategy
- Leadership, culture and values
- Investment in employees
- Social and economic impact on communities
No financial data on the selected companies will be divulged without the companies’ consent. The decisions of AAE with respect to all aspects of the selection process are final and binding on all applicants without the right to appeal.
- The anchor sponsor for the AAE is Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunities for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organisation invests in and helps scale innovative organisations to catalyse economic and social change.
- Part of the ELMA Group of Foundations, the ELMA Growth Foundation invests exclusively in Africa in the growth or expansion of initiatives focused on the economic and social development of low-income individuals, families
- Application Forms