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Keen on winning a share of US$1-million as well as mentorship that will help you launch or grow your business in Africa? Then you’ll want to apply for the 2018 African Entrepreneurship Awards.
In addition to a share of US$1-million in prize money, winners of the award will receive free online mentoring from over 400 entrepreneurs, investors and other business owners.
Applications for the awards opened two weeks ago (1 March) and will close on 30 April.
The awards are generally open to African citizens over 18 who either have ideas for or are running innovative for-profit businesses with a positive social impact.
Successful submissions to the African Entrepreneurship Awards will see selected winners get a share of $1-million
This year’s awards are spread over two categories: innovation and sports.
Entrepreneurs looking to apply under the innovation category must be implementing new technology, business models or providing solutions to problems that have previously not been solved in their respective regions.
Under the sports category, applicants must have a concept or functioning solution around sports products, production methods, services, marketing, media, facility management, as well as health and performance improvements.
How the awards work
After the submission deadline, selected entrepreneurs will participate in three rounds of online mentoring in April.
Thereafter, in October, the Africa Entrepreneurship Awards team will conduct on-site visits to the top 50 entrepreneurs.
In December the finalists will then take part in a three-day boot camp, where they will pitch their ideas to the awards jury.
The jury will then decide the number of winners, as well as how the US$1-million prize money will be awarded.
The awards were launched in 2014 at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakesh, Morocco.
An impact case study of the awards states that the first three editions of the awards have awarded 33 winners, whittled down from 78 finalists from all 54 countries on the continent.
Previous winners of the programme include South African Johann Kok, who in 2015 won $150 000 in the education category for his Seebox gaming console prototype.
In the same year, another South African, William Mapham, also won a US$150 000 prize for the Uncharted Award after developing smartphone-based medical referral platform Vula Mobile.
Kytabu founder, Kenyan Tonee Ndungu, won a US$150 000 prize in the education category. This helped him increase staff at his edtech startup from four to 23 employees.
*Editor’s note: We incorrectly had Johann Kok’s gaming console as “Seedbox”. It is in fact “Seebox”. Ventureburn regrets the error.