Anzisha Prize names top 20 finalists

 
After months of searching the African continent, The Anzisha Prize has unveiled its top twenty finalists for 2019. The winner will be announced at the ninth Anzisha Prize Forum on 22 October in Johannesburg, South Africa.
 
The Anzisha Prize, an African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation partnership, is dedicated to identifying, supporting and celebrating young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-22 on the continent whose ideas, ventures and businesses harness the power to redefine and reimagine Africa’s growth trajectory.

With over 500 applicants this year, the prize received more submissions from remote and fragile communities, widening the selection pool for the top 20. From Somalia to Chad, applicants showcased their business acumen with enterprises that provide solutions to some of the continent’s biggest problems.
 
The Prize Forum is an evolutionary step from the gala event. Invited guests will experience a new format, including a day-long affair where they will have an opportunity to get to know and understand the young entrepreneurs’ journeys. They will share in an immersive experience where they will better understand the world of youth entrepreneurship – from expert panels to experiential workshops. The event will be a bevy of innovative discussions and activities.

“This year, we’re particularly excited about the new format. We’ve created a tailored experience that will allow people to explore the Anzisha movement in all its entirety,” said Melissa Mbazo, Anzisha Program Manager. “From start to finish, the day will look at shaping the future of entrepreneurship on the continent and young entrepreneurs will be at the helm, steering the conversations.”

While the candidates are from various sectors, agricultural businesses submitted the highest number of applications this year. Excitingly, for the very first time, finalists from The Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia have been chosen as part of the 2019 cohort.
 
 
The Anzisha Prize team are proud to have been able to find and now support young women like Asia Saeed, a 20-year-old Somali and founder of 2doon – a business aimed at helping young people find jobs and companies improve their hiring and recruitment services. With over 50 young people employed in full-time and part-time positions, 2doon is reinventing the way in which the workforce is mobilized and developed on the continent.

The Anzisha Prize Forum
The top 20 will gather in Johannesburg for a 12-day accelerator boot camp where they will be coached by local and global experts in preparation for the independent judging panel who will decide the winner of the $25,000 USD Grand Prize. The boot camp marks the start of the Anzisha Prize fellowship, through which each entrepreneur will access coaching support, market access services and further funding opportunities.
“Africa’s greatest asset is its young people and the Anzisha Prize Forum, now in its ninth year, is a testament to their passion and creativity,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “Their commitment to the continent is reflected in the very nature of the businesses they choose, often focused on social good and on improving the lives of those around them.”

The Anzisha Prize will be hosting broadcast parties across the continent to share the stories of this year’s top 20 entrepreneurs and to encourage young Africans to start their own ventures.
 
 
African Media Agency
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