Johannesburg,September 17, 2015-African Leadership Academy,in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation is proud to announce 12 accomplished young entrepreneurs as finalists for the 2015 Anzisha Prize.The 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. 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. Finalists for the Anzisha Prize win a share of US$75,000 and access to ongoing support to scale their enterprises and expand their impact.
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.
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.
Says 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.”