Anzisha Prize opens 2020 applications, with $100k in shared money up for grabs


Today, the Anzisha Prize — Africa’s premier award and fellowship for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs — is excited to announce that the 2020 call for applications is now open.

Every year, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 years and younger, each of whom have a chance to win a shared prize of $100 000.

The grand prize winner receives $25 000, the first runner-up $15 000, and second runner-up $12,500. Every finalist receives $2500.

Young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 22 years old, who are running job-generating businesses, are encouraged to apply before 31 March.

In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners and become Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts.

The Anzisha Prize has launched applications for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 22 years old

They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund — a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment.

“It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent’s brightest and youngest entrepreneurs.

“With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we’ve been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years,” says, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

Five regional events planned

To celebrate the decennial, the Anzisha Prize has planned five regional events across the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya.

The events conclude in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where the 2020 winners will be announced. Each event is designed to catalyse conversations around youth entrepreneurship and to gather key stakeholders within the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with and support these young entrepreneurs.

“The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation.

“Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply.”

2019 winner from war-torn DRC

Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka from Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).

Kimanuka grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education.

By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM’s School Complex – a nursery and primary school which aims to improve the education of young children in her community.

As the programme continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one.

To encapsulate the last 10 years of the program, the Anzisha Prize has chosen the word “Sankofa” in the Ghanaian Twi language, which means “We have the capacity to revisit the past and extract knowledge and wisdom that we need to remake the future”.

Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply, and to nominate an entrepreneur, go here.

If you’d like to attend the Anzisha regional events, please email to share your interest. The first event takes place in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 March.

Featured image: Last year’s Anzisha Prize winners (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]



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Ventureburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.