The Anzisha Prize, Africa’s entrepreneurship initiative for young people between the ages of 15 and 22, has named the next cohort of 30 exceptional young entrepreneurs that will join its three-year Venture Building Program. Launched in 2011, the Anzisha Prize is a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa Leadership Academy and the only venture program of its kind in Africa.
Its next cohort of entrepreneurs comprises an exciting mix of change-makers in the agriculture, health, education, and fashion industries. The 30 entrepreneurs join the ranks of 172 young African entrepreneurs who have benefited from the fellowship since its inception in 2011. Businesses and entrepreneurs that show exemplary growth and initiative receive benefits and services such as short courses, cloud services, and cash stipends valued at $140,000 over the course of three years.
“This year, we received a record number of 1,888 applications. This is particularly encouraging, as we have remodelled the program slightly to award progress and achievement over some time. Young people are looking for committed support that improves the longevity of their businesses and it’s been especially exciting to see young women take up this opportunity with 17 young women being part of the top 30. This is also bolstered by a few fintech businesses, showing a growing trend. Having worked with early-age entrepreneurs over the last decade and seeing their impact on the economy, we continue to create an enabling environment – making it easier for them to do business through support programs like ours, which build debt-free instruments that are useful for these entrepreneurs,” says Josh Adler, Executive Director of Anzisha Prize.
The Anzisha Prize seeks to award young entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to social challenges and started successful businesses within their communities. Now in its twelfth year, the program has been redesigned to run for three years per cohort. At the end of the three years, the fellows will graduate and join the Anzisha Prize alumni network.
The 30 business owners were selected from across the continent following rounds of rigorous evaluation. The entrepreneurs who applied were assessed on their leadership potential, as well as the scalability and job-creation potential of their business models. The entrepreneurs represent 11 sectors such as health and education with agriculture and consumer products having the highest representation. Additionally, 17 African countries and all five regions within the continent have a representative in the top 30, including Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Mali, and more.
Among the top 30 entrepreneurs are two Kenyan fellows – Collins Kathuli, 20, the founder of Kyanda, a fintech business with a 360-degree digital financial service through its infrastructure that serves both individuals and businesses, and Lynnet Muritu, 21, the founder of MimiPambo, a jewellery company that uses recycled materials to create genderless pieces for everyday wear.
During a week-long virtual induction, the entrepreneurs met each other and learned about what the three-year fellowship involved. The passion, excellence, and diversity of the finalists reflects the DNA of the program. The newly formatted three-year fellowship will recognise growth and impact over some time and the fellows will have access to business training, mentoring, and learning initiatives, as well as access to key networks and the vibrant network of Anzisha alumni fellows. At the end of the second year, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to win one of four grand prizes and will have their business growth evaluated by a panel of external judges in the following categories: Job Creation, Revenue Growth, Integrating Systems, and Storytelling. Each winner will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize.
“One of the most exciting things we have seen with the Anzisha Prize is that young entrepreneurs who create jobs are far more likely to hire other young people. As a Foundation focused on enabling 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work, the implications of this finding are clear: investing in young people’s leadership – including as entrepreneurs – is profoundly catalytic. It is part of how we will solve some of the world’s more complex challenges – including youth unemployment,” says Philip Cotton, the Executive Director of Human Capital Development at the Mastercard Foundation.
As the past two years have shown, innovative young people need to be encouraged to pursue non-traditional career paths to secure their future and transform their communities for the better.
The 2022 Anzisha Prize Fellows are:
- Abubakar Sadick Fuseini, 22, Ghana – Abubakar Fuseini is the founder of Quick Step Delivery, a logistics and delivery company based in Ghana. Link to full profile here.
- Aminata Becanty Coulibaly, 22, Côte d’Ivoire – Aminata is the founder L’Africaine, a company that produces hair and skin products for the modern Ivoiran woman. Link to full profile here.
- Athingahangwi Ramabulana, 22, South Africa – Athingahangwi Ramabulana is the founder of Athinga’s Corner, a restaurant and catering company that provides nutritious and healthy meals to university students. Link to full profile here.
- Baké Faouziyatou Bani, 21, Benin – Bake Bani is the founder of El Gusto, a business that is involved in the production of naturally sourced foods. Link to full profile here.
- Delali Magnon, 21, Togo – Delali Magnon is the founder of Ladies Delight, an online business that sells taro, sweet potato, and potato chips. Link to full profile here.
- Gustave Chabilakoun, 22, Benin – Gustave Chabilakoun is the founder of Bio Production, a company that produces and commercializes organic green chilli, using the aqueous extract of neem as a biopesticide. Link to full profile here.
- Joseph Ssempebwa, 22, Uganda – Joseph Ssempebwa is the founder of Scaling Pathways, a company that aims to increase agricultural activity by introducing a Pay-for-Use for the farming community in Uganda. Link to full profile here.
- Lynnet Muritu, 21, Kenya – Lynnet Muritu is the founder of MimiPambo, a jewellery company that uses recycled materials to create genderless pieces for everyday wear. Link to full profile here.
- Mathias Charles Yabe, 22, Ghana – Mathias Yabe is the founder of Ako Fresh, an initiative offering a green preservation solution to smallholder farmers and traders to help reduce the menace of post-harvest losses. Link to full profile here.
- Noreen Mutavhatsindi, 22, South Africa – Noreen Mutavhatsindi is the founder of Phindulo Tutoring, a tutoring company with the mission to improve the grades of all learners. Link to full profile here.
- Oumar Mamoudou Sylla, 22, Mali – Oumar Mamoudou is the founder of Sylla bio et Divers, a social enterprise that assists rural communities in Mali to develop a sustainable economy through agricultural training. Link to full profile here.
- Salimata Traoure, 22, Mali – Salimata Traoure is the founder Sa’Hello, a company that manufactures and sells cashew nuts-based products such as juice and syrup in Mali. Link to full profile here.
- Sharon Yayra Alornyeku, 22, Ghana – Sharon Alornyeku is the founder of PengStreet, a fashion house that sells clothes to meet the fashion needs of university students. Link to full profile here.
- Upendo Ngussa, 22, Tanzania – Upendo Nguusa is the founder of Mkaa Safi, a company that deals in the production of renewable energy from agricultural wastes. Link to full profile here.
- Mahmoud Ali Soltan, 22, Egypt – Mahmoud Soltan is the founder of Shabab Talented, a youth initiative that brings together youths who have scientific and practical qualifications with community participation and experiences in volunteer life. Link to full profile here.
- Amina Nakiboneka, 22, Uganda – Amina Nakiboneka is the founder of Mon Amie Cakes, a catering company that creates and sells baked goods. Link to full profile here.
- Bassim-swé Bamassi, 22, Togo – Bassim Bamassi is the founder of H-express courier, a company that transports meals, packages, and goods to households. Link to full profile here.
- Bismwa Gulain, 21, DRC – Bismwa Gulain is the founder of Bing, a processing business that turns raw produce into bread, porridge, and biscuits, which are then sold to customers. Link to full profile here.
- Angela Razafindravonona, 21, Madagascar – Angela Razafindravonona is the founder of Ascent, a women’s clothing business that creates statement pieces for the modern Malagasy woman. Link to full profile here.
- Collins Kathuli, 20, Kenya – Collina Kathuli is the founder of Kyanda, a fintech business with a 360-degree digital financial service through its infrastructure that serves both individuals and businesses. Link to full profile here.
- Gaoagwe Jeje, 22, South Africa – Gaoagwe Jeje is the founder of Kgosi Poultry, a farming business that deals with the production of chickens for meat consumption. Link to full profile here.
- Jessica Gybere, 22, Burkina Faso – Jessica Gybere is the founder of Africa Energy and Service, a company that provides electrical, solar systems, and photovoltaic lighting installations. Link to full profile here.
- Mariana Mahitiko, 22, DRC – Mariana Mahitiko is the founder of Top Confection, a company that sells women’s and men’s clothing made from bespoke African materials. Link to full profile here.
- Vanessa Ngwi, 21, Cameroon – Vanessa Ngwi is the co-founder of Papylon, a clothing line devoted to producing high-quality designs for customers of all ages. Link to full profile here.
- Willine Ikerezi, 22, Rwanda – Willine Ikerezi is the founder of DotPharma, an e-pharmacy platform that allows patients or caregivers to order medicines and other personal care products (cosmetics, food supplements, etc.) and have them delivered to their homes. Link to full profile here.
- N’zinga Antonio, 22, Angola – N’zinga Antonio is the founder of Gailza, a bakery that specialises in selling cakes and pastry products. The venture also provides training to customers in pastry-making and baking. Link to full profile here.
- Sheila Chivura, 20, Mozambique – Sheila Chivura is the founder of Quitutes, a home-based online restaurant/food service that ensures the customer’s comfort in ordering delicious meals. Link to full profile here.
- Ivo Bonfirm, 19, Angola – Ivo Bonfirm is the CEO of Optica Ipris, a vision centre in Angola. They manufacture lenses and frames for glasses. Link to full profile here.
- Abdulwhab Mohamed, 22, Egypt – Abdulwhab Mohamed is the founder of Alfarysy, a water tank cleaning service based in North Egypt. They service residential homes by draining, cleaning, and facilitating the refill of the tanks. Link to full profile here.
- Mohamed Mahmoud, 22, Egypt – Mohamed Mahmoud is the founder of Mahweeb, an app that connects talented soccer players with sports clubs and talent scouts. Link to full profile here.
Anzisha Prize applications for the 2023 cohort of young business owners are now open. Eligible entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize.