DUBBED “THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR YOUNG AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS” – THE $75,000 ANZISHA PRIZE ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FINALISTS
Twelve inspirational entrepreneurs from around Africa are the finalists for the prestigious Anzisha Prize, Africa’s foremost youth entrepreneurship award. The contenders, who hail from 10 countries on the continent, stand a chance to share in over $75 000 USD in cash prizes and receive networking and learning opportunities, which is provided through a partnership between African Leadership Academy and by The MasterCard Foundation.
The Anzisha Prize identifies and celebrates Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders between the ages of 15 to 22, who have addressed challenges in their communities and launched innovative ventures. This year these range from renewable energy projects and technology solutions to agriculture and education.
For the first time in the prize’s history, South Africa has two finalists. Kolawole Olajide, 21, is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda, an award-winning online learning management system. Neftaly Malatjie, 22, has been running Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) for more than eight years since he founded it at the age of 14. DYP is an NGO that focuses on income generating programmes that enable young people to engage in business opportunities.
Uganda also boasts two finalists. Best Ayiorworth, 19, has empowered over 200 young women in her home district through her microfinance lending programme while Titus Mawano’s vision to get African SMMEs “in the cloud” inspired him to develop Ffene, a business management platform.
Says Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize programme manager: “There are thousands of entrepreneurial African youth who are making a difference in their communities every day. We are honoured to be able to share a subset of their stories with the world and enable them to take their businesses to the next level. These are the African business leaders of the future and our goal is to help support their growth.”
“The Anzisha Prize illustrates the potential, ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy of young people across Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “Each year, the Anzisha Prize finalists encourage young people from across the continent to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions and make a difference in their communities.”
All 12 finalists will take part in the 2013 Anzisha Prize Finalist Week which takes place from Sunday, August 25, to Friday, August 30. While there, they will be taught by the African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty as well as members of the South African Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organisation.
The grand prize winner will be announced at a gala function to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the evening of August 30. . As part of the MasterCard Foundation’s partnership with African Leadership Academ (ALA), winners will share $75,000 USD courtesy of The MasterCard Foundation and will join the esteemed Anzisha Fellows network, composed of the 20 Anzisha Fellows to date. The winners will also be given networking and learning opportunities to take their projects to the next level.
Now in its third year, the Anzisha Prize, celebrates the initiative and innovation of youth in Africa. It identifies exceptional young entrepreneurs who are leading by example and underscores their ability to significantly shape the future of Africa.
The word ‘Anzisha’ is taken from Swahili and translates into ‘initiative’ and is a project that is gaining significant momentum in African business circles as its impact is beginning to be felt.
The 12 Anzisha 2013 finalists (in country order) are:
Project Title: Poult-Vault Inc.
Nineteen-year-old David Morfaw, from Bafut in Cameroon, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and started his first business at the age of eight. His current venture is the poultry business Poult-Vault Inc. However, it is not simply about the bottom line but also helping the community he lives in – he currently employs six people. His business plan maximises each opportunity, whether it is selling chicks after three weeks, keeping them until they are grown at nine weeks or selling the chickens and their eggs. He also provides the waste produced to local farmers for fertile manure.
Project Title: Mubser
Industry: Information technology
Khaled Shady, from Shebin El-Kom, is a 21-year-old computer engineering student at Menoufoia University in Egypt. His university curriculum and technical knowledge gave him a unique opportunity to develop a system that could make a difference for the blind community. He decided to develop a cutting-edge product that could aid them in their daily lives. Shady’s invention Mubser is a wearable belt, fully equipped with Bluetooth and Microsoft Kinect, which allows the wearer to navigate safely around objects and obstacles using a system of vibrating motors. It is already making an impact and improving the quality of life for blind people.
Project Title: Safi-pads
Industry: Consumer products
Paul Barclay is a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Kitale in Kenya. His business, Safi-pads, provides inexpensive, reusable and washable sanitary towels for women and young girls. Barclay saw that the prices of regular disposable towels were simply too expensive for families strapped for cash so he and his team developed a product that could help thousands of women while still turning a profit. Barclay has already sold more than 14 000 units of his sanitary towels and plans to expand when he can afford to pay for various mechanisms to make his production system more efficient. He currently employs 14 women but impacts so many families by providing an affordable option of a necessary hygiene product.
Project Title: Pakwathu
Industry: Information technology
Gonjetso Chinyama is a 21-year-old student at the University of Malawi in Blantyre where he is studying Management Information Systems with a passion for art, design, and computer programming. He joined these passions to start a creative design agency called Twenty2 Creative. From there he saw a niche in the marketplace and created the Internet real estate venture, Pakwathu. This online classifieds website enables Malawians to find property throughout the country and sift through a plethora of options based on location and price.
Project Title: JobsinNigeria
Industry: Information technology
Temitayo Olufuwa, from Fadeyi, is a graduate of N.I.I.T. where he focused on computer science and software. The 21-year-old created JobsinNigeria (www.jobsinnigeria.com.ng), a web-based system that allows users to search, find and apply for new jobs at the click of the mouse or even on mobile devices. JobsinNigeria only started in 2012 and yet its impact on the Nigerian community is growing substantially with more than 200 Nigerians already finding jobs.
Joie Laurent Sangwa
Project Title: Domestic Biogas Use Promotion Project
Industry: Energy and waste
Nineteen-year-old Joie Sangwa from Burera in Rwanda realised that her community needed cheap and renewable energy resources. Working with a team, she discovered that human waste is a good source of energy and worked to install domestic biogas units throughout her home region. This offers a cheap, alternative energy source while helping with the environment.
Project Title: Green Act
Industry: Energy and waste
Nineteen-year-old Donald Bambara grew up in Burkina Faso but after completing his high school education, moved to Dakar, Senegal, to start international management studies. Bambara quickly came to recognise a big problem in his university community – waste. He came up with a dynamic plan for how to combat the waste problem and started Green Act. This project helps separate trash from recyclable materials on campus. But his quest to clean up his campus, and campuses around him, doesn’t end there as he processes the recyclables into plastic pellets, funds cleaning services on campuses, and tries to educate students and young people in Senegal about the impact of current waste management practices and future possibilities for recycling.
Project Title: Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP)
Industry: Youth development and education
Neftaly Malatjie has a passion for social entrepreneurship and a track record of commitment to community work. Since the age of 11, he has worked as a preschool teacher, peer educator, library assistant, HIV/Aids counsellor, drugs awareness and prevention teacher, learning and development advisor and afternoon care coordinator. In 2005, at the age of 14, using cash he had saved from his part-time job, he started Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) to make an impact in the poverty stricken Diepsloot area. Diepsloot Youth Projects focuses on income generating programmes that enable young people to engage in business opportunities. It has created employment for 16 young people.
Project Title: Funda
Industry: Information technology and education
Kolawole Olajide, 21, is a native of Nigeria and schooled in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda, an online learning management system that brings together educational resources to make the lives of teachers, students and parents easier. For example, a teacher can create a website that serves as an online discussion board for students to collaborate on an assignment while students can create a class website to work on and submit assignments electronically. He is part of a five man team of young entrepreneurs who represent five different African nations – Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya. Olajide and his team have gone on to win a number of awards, recognition from prestigious groups like the UNDP and an invitation to attend the Davos World Economic Forum.
Project Title: Jathropa Soap Production
Industry: Health and wellness
Domitila Silayo is a 21-year-old university student from Moshi, Tanzania. After visiting an agricultural festival, Silayo saw great potential for using the jathropa plant for cosmetic and medicinal uses. She began research on how to produce a soap made from the herbal plant that could heal a variety of skin problems including ringworm and dandruff. Jathropa Soap Production has gone on to help thousands of people in Tanzania fight off skin problems while still turning a healthy profit and creating employment.
Project Title: Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation
Industry: Microfinance and education
Best Aiyorworth is an advocate for education in her home district Nebbi in northern Uganda. The 21-year-old has started the Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation. Its motto is “To help a mother, is to help a girl child.” Girls’ Power is a micro lending business that supports girls through their mothers. They give women starting capital or money to boost their existing businesses so that they are able to support their daughters with school fees and scholastic materials and ensure that they get an education. She has empowered over 400 women to date.
Project Title: Ffene
Industry: Information technology
Titus Mawano, a 22-year-old from Kampala, is the brains behind Ffene, a business management platform for SMMEs in Africa who are struggling to stay organised, yet still use a loose-leaf notebook to keep record of clients and sales. Ffene’s vision is to get African businesses in the cloud. Whether it is accounting, inventory management or data keeping, Ffene is the one stop shop for a SMME’s accounting, customer and inventory management needs. With more than 400 current customers just three months after launch, Ffene is well on its way to revolutionising how SMMEs do business in Uganda and beyond.
➢ Website: www.anzishaprize.org
➢ Facebook: www.facebook.com/anzishaprize
➢ Twitter: @anzishaprize
NOTES TO EDITORS
South Africa’s Neftaly Malatjie was not originally listed when Anzisha announced its shortlist of 25 candidates. However, Malatjie replaced one of the semi-finalists who did not meet the awards’ criteria during the diligence process.
About the Anzisha Prize
The Anzisha Prize is managed out of African Leadership Academy’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which was established through a multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship among youth across the continent.
About African Leadership Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit http://africanleadershipacademy.org.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $6 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 50 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote Financial Inclusion and advance Youth Learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company. Its policies, operations, and funding decisions are determined by its own Foundation Board of Directors and President and CEO. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
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