Yannick Kimanuka, a 21-year-old Congolese entrepreneur, has emerged the winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize, walking away with $25 000 in funding.
Kimanuka (pictured above, middle) was selected for Kim’s School Complex, a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in her community.
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It is the premier award for young entrepreneurs aged 15 to 22 who are actively running innovative social ventures or for-profit businesses with potential.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February
Speaking during her acceptance speech at the event, Kimanuka said she was not only filled with joy, but with hope for the future of the continent.
“My fellow entrepreneurs have fuelled my passions and desires for a better continent,” she added.
AquagriTech founder 19-year-old Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, also from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was named the first runner up and received $15 000 in funding.
Mokouma’s company grows fresh vegetables and fruit by using urban bio-waste and a system that produces fertiliser from fish.
“I want to tell young entrepreneurs that Africa needs us and that we must work hard to see the change we want and do not hesitate to apply for the Anzisha Prize,” said Mokouma.
Eco Makaa founder, 22-year-old Kenyan Cecil Chikezie, was announced as the second runner up and won $12 500 in prize money. His Nairobi-based business connects local small-scale fuel briquette producers to a client base.
Chikezie said being named second runner up in the competition has been a “life-changing experience”. “I am looking forward to realising my dream of bettering the lives of my peers,” he added.
Mastercard Foundation programme manager Koffi Assouan (pictured above, right) said every year the Anzisha Prize is overwhelmed by the businesses that the top 20 finalists are running.
“This year was no different. We are proud of the winners and are encouraged by their efforts to create more opportunities for other young people on the continent,” added Assouan.
Top 20 finalists to join Anzisha Fellowship
Prior to the event, the 20 Anzisha Prize finalists participated in a 11-day boot camp which was held at the African Leadership Academy campus where they were coached by industry experts on how to run successful businesses.
In addition, one of the bootcamp’s objectives is to foster collaborative synergies between the young entrepreneurs.
Each of the finalists will receive $2500 in prize money and will also join the Anzisha Fellowship.
The Fellowship package consists of eight tailored opportunities to help fellows scale their businesses.
This year, the Fellowship package will include a new consulting initiative and job shadowing projects that are aimed at providing unique opportunities for all fellows.
This year’s Anzisha Prize Forum included workshops on the Anzisha Scenario which gave stake holders an opportunity to rethink their approach to youth entrepreneurship.
The initiative, which has been running for nine years, saw the Anzisha Prize team conduct due diligence trips to 23 countries around the continent where they met the top 20 finalists in their home countries.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize open on 15 February. Those looking to nominate young entrepreneurs can do so here.
CNBC Africa will broadcast a special on the Anzisha Prize finals next Monday (28 October) on channel 410 on DStv. Those interested in watching the pitches of the top 20 finalists can do so here.
Featured image, left to right: African Leadership Academy vice president growth and entrepreneurship Josh Adler, KIM’s School Complex founder Yannick Kimanuka and Mastercard Foundation programme manager Koffi Assouan (Supplied)
The Anzisha Prize seeks to fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa, and is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation. Through Ventureburn, they hope to share inspirational and relatable stories of very young (15 to 22 year old) African entrepreneurs and the people that support them. [learn more]