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In an effort to uncover and nurture Africa’s best young entrepreneurs, entries for the Anzisha Prize for 2014 has opened this week. The competition is part of a bigger picture to group organisations and media brands all over the continent and find, celebrate and support the most innovative social and business entrepreneurs younger than 22.
Hosted by the African Leadership Academy and in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize has been celebrating initiative and innovation for the last three years. Finalists this year will share a total cash prize of US$75,000 and will also join the Anisha Fellow Network which introduces a one-week long entrepreneurship training programme and aims to represent the continent’s top entrepreneurs.
Current Anzisha Fellows include Andrew Mupuya who was recently featured on CNN for his growing paper-bag manufacturing empire, Kolawole Olajide who is a developer of the online education platform Funda, rabbit farm owner Laetitia Mukungu and information activist Amr Sohby from Egypt.
“This year, we’re determined to reach far and wide through our youth development partners, schools and the media to find the very best of Africa’s youngest entrepreneurial talent,” says Anzisha Prize Program Manager Chi Achebe. “We can’t wait to see what this year’s application process will uncover, and we encourage everyone to help us by nominating amazing young people in their own communities who have started a project or business with potential.”
“The Anzisha Fellows are a group of exceptional young entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, improving lives, and forming a truly pan-African network of business innovators,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “This Prize provides them with an opportunity to learn from each other, and develop skills to grow their businesses and make a greater impact in their communities.”
Anzisha country partners for 2014 include Swaziland’s Knowledge Institute, The District from Egypt, iEARN from Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Mali, AIESEC, Junior Achievement, among many others.
The initiative seeks to find youth between the ages of 15 and 22 who have started and actively run a social venture or for-profit business.
Aspiring fellows can apply directly here online or at the offices of any one of the 2014 country partners mentioned above. Application forms will be accepted through to 1 April 2014.