Twelve inspirational entrepreneurs from around Africa are the finalists for the prestigious Anzisha Prize, Africa’s foremost youth entrepreneurship award. The contenders, who hail from 10 countries on the continent, stand a chance to share in over $75 000 USD in cash prizes and receive networking and learning opportunities, which is provided through a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation.
The Anzisha Prize identifies and celebrates Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders between the ages of 15 to 22, who have addressed challenges in their communities and launched innovative ventures. This year these range from renewable energy projects and technology solutions to agriculture and education.
For the first time in the prize’s history, South Africa has two finalists. Kolawole Olajide, 21, is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda, an award-winning online learning management system. Neftaly Malatjie, 22, has been running Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) for more than eight years since he founded it at the age of 14. DYP is an NGO that focuses on income generating programmes that enable young people to engage in business opportunities.
Uganda also boasts two finalists. Best Ayiorworth, 19, has empowered over 200 young women in her home district through her microfinance lending programme while Titus Mawano’s vision to get African SMMEs “in the cloud” inspired him to develop Ffene, a business management platform.
Says Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize programme manager: “There are thousands of entrepreneurial African youth who are making a difference in their communities every day. We are honoured to be able to share a subset of their stories with the world and enable them to take their businesses to the next level. These are the African business leaders of the future and our goal is to help support their growth.”
“The Anzisha Prize illustrates the potential, ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy of young people across Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “Each year, the Anzisha Prize finalists encourage young people from across the continent to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions and make a difference in their communities.”
All 12 finalists will take part in the 2013 Anzisha Prize Finalist Week which takes place from Sunday, August 25, to Friday, August 30. While there, they will be taught by the African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty as well as members of the South African Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organisation.
The grand prize winner will be announced at a gala function to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the evening of August 30. As part of The MasterCard Foundation’s partnership with African Leadership Academ (ALA), winners will share $75,000 USD and will join the esteemed Anzisha Fellows network, composed of the 20 Anzisha Fellows to date. The winners will also be given networking and learning opportunities to take their projects to the next level.
Now in its third year, the Anzisha Prize, celebrates the initiative and innovation of youth in Africa. It identifies exceptional young entrepreneurs who are leading by example and underscores their ability to significantly shape the future of Africa.
The word ‘Anzisha’ is taken from Swahili and translates into ‘initiative’ and is a project that is gaining significant momentum in African business circles as its impact is beginning to be felt.
Project Title: Poult-Vault Inc.
David Morfaw has always looked to business ventures that can support himself and his family. He even started various businesses at the young age of eight. From there, he moved up to his current venture, Poult-Vault Inc. which he believes can usher in a new era for his community financially.
Shebin El-Kom, Egypt
Project Title: Mubser
Khaled Shady is a student at Menoufoia University in Egypt where he is focusing on Computer Engineering. His University curriculum gave him a unique opportunity with a breadth of tech knowledge to develop a system that could help the community at large.
Barclay Paul Okari
Industry: Consumer Products
Project Title: Impact Africa
Paul Barclay is a serial entrepreneur from Kenya who is constantly coming up with ideas and acting on them as he sees fit. Coming from a community ravaged by war and election violence, Paul has seen a multitude of issues that need resolving in his community, but the one that he is focused on currently is sanitary towels for women. This venture is called Impact Africa and is aimed at providing inexpensive, reusable, washable sanitary towels for women.
Industry: Consumer Services
Project Title: Pakwathu
Gonjetso Chinyama is a student at the University of Malawi where he is studying Management Information Systems with a passion for art, design, and computer programming. He joined these passions together to create a creative design agency called Twenty2 Creative.
Industry: Consumer Services
Project Title: Jobs in Nigeria
Temitayo Olufuwa is a graduate of N.I.I.T. where he focused on computer science and software. Jobs in Nigeria was born in 2012. Jobs in Nigeria is a web-based system that allows users to effortlessly search, find, and apply for new jobs at the click of the mouse or even on the mobile devices.
Joie Laurent Sangwa
Burera District, Rwanda
Project Title: Domestic Biogas Use Promotion Project
Joie Sangwa was born in Rwanda and continues to give back to her country to this day. As with all entrepreneurs, and especially social entrepreneurs, Joie saw a huge need for her community and sought to research and develop a dynamic way to solve it.
Industry: Waste and Energy
Project Title: Green Act
This project installs various measures to separate trash from recyclable materials on campus. But his quest to clean up his campus, and campuses around him doesn’t end there as he funds cleaning services on campuses and tries to educate students and young people in Senegal about the impacts of current waste management practices and future possibilities for recycling.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Industry: Youth Development
Project Title: Diepsloot Youth Project
Neftaly Malatjie has a passion for social entrepreneurship and a track record of commitment to community work. He started Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) to make an impact in the poverty stricken Diepsloot area. Diepsloot Youth Projects focuses on income generating programs that enable young people to engage in business opportunities.
Cape Town, South Africa
Industry: Consumer Services
Project Title: Funda
Kolawole Olajide was born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa and went off to University to study Computer Science. Funda is an online learning management system that brings together necessary educational resources to make the lives of teachers, students, and parents a bit easier. This system has been wildly successful ad has begun to spread through South Africa to different Universities.
Industry: Consumer Products
Project Title: Jatropha Soap Production
Domitila Silayo is a University student from Moshi, Tanzania where she is working to empower her community and communities around her. After visiting an agricultural festival, Domitila saw a great potential in the jatropha plant for cosmetic and medicinal uses. Then, she began to research how to produce a soap made from the jatropha plant that could heal a variety of skin problems including ringworm and dandruff. Jatropha Soap Production has gone on to help thousands of people in Tanzania fight off skin problems, while still turning a healthy profit for Domitila and her team.
Industry: Microfinance & Education
Project Title: Girls Power Micro Lending Organization
Best Ayiorworth is an advocate for education in her home district in northern Uganda. She has started an organization with a twist on common education programs called the Girl Power Micro-credit Organization, which focuses on women in the community with a trickle down mentality. The thinking behind GIPOMO is if more women are brought into business society with micro-finance loans, then they will, in turn, focus on young girls’ educations and revolutionize girls’ education in Uganda.
Industry: Information Technology
Project Title: Ffene
Titus Mawano is a 22-year old student from Kampala, Uganda who put University on hold to pursue a passion in computer science, business, and his home continent. His business is Ffene and it is a business management platform for SMEs in Africa who are struggling to stay organized and might be behind on the tech wave. Whether it is accounting, inventory management, or data keeping, Ffene is the one stop shop for SME organization on the computer and mobile devices. While at University, Titus took some computer science classes, but he didn’t feel like they challenged him enough so he taught himself a variety of code languages.
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