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Meet Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs whose ideas are re-imagining the future of the continent
After months of searching the African continent, the Anzisha Prize has unveiled its top 20 finalists for 2019. The winner of the $25 000 grand prize will be announced at the ninth annual Anzisha Prize Forum on 22 October in Johannesburg.
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 to 22 whose ideas, ventures and businesses harness the power to redefine and re-imagine 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 Programme 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.
Gambia, DRC, Somalia
Excitingly, for the very first time, finalists from The Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 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 grand prize.
The bootcamp marks the start of the entrepreneurs’ Anzisha Prize Fellowship, where they each will access coaching support, market access services, and further funding opportunities.
“Africa’s greatest asset is its young people and the Anzisha Prize, now in its ninth year, is a testament to their passion and creativity,” said Koffi Assouan, Programme 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.
The 2019 finalists for the Anzisha Prize are:
Asia Saeed, 20, Somalia: Founder of 2doon, a social enterprise established to reduce unemployment
for the Somalian youth.
Godiragetse Fareed Mogajane, 21, South Africa: Founder of Goodie tutors, a tutoring agency which provides extra tutorial classes by offering one-on-one tutoring; university pre-exam workshops and exam-focuses maths workshops for high school students.
Marvellous Nyongoro, 22, Zimbabwe: Founder of The Housing Hub, a service provision platform founded by Marvellous that uses smart technology.
Velache Henry, 19, Sierra Leone: Founder of Canaan Farms. Canaan Farms is an agribusiness and distribution company with two branches that grow various produce (watermelon, okra, cassava, etc).
Emmanuel Owusu Agyei, 22, Ghana: Founder of Campus Trends Ghana, a marketing firm providing
advice, qualitative and communications services services to bridge the gap between the firm and the
Jaritou Jallow, 21, Gambia: Founder of Yonima Errands Runner, an enterprise founded by Jariatou which provides business errands such as business registration, bank account openings, administrative etc.
Caleb Annobil, 21, Ghana: Founder of High School Water Product, an enterprise which customises sachet water to sell to students at affordable prices.
Christian Tesfaye Kassahun, 21, Ethiopia: Co-founder of GebeyaNet, an agricultural E-Commerce platform that connects smallholder farmers with the market and also facilitates logistics and payment systems for them.
Mamadjang Jallow, 20, Gambia: Founder of Jallow Trading, a small scale horticultural gardening venture founded by Mamadjang which produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which he sells to vendors and households around his region.
Saudah Birungi, 22, Uganda: Saudah co-founded Tusafishe which is an enterprise that constructs
water filters using locally available materials for students in rural schools and in their homes to
provide them with safe drinking water.
Olipah Chomba, 22, Zambia: Founder of Poultry, an enterprise which orders broiler chicken, nurtures them for a period six weeks by providing them with the necessary vaccines and medicine.
Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, 19, Republic of Congo: Founder of AquagriTech, an enterprise that enhances urban bio-waste to produce natural food from fish that are put in a closed circuit with plants that assimilate the droppings of fish for their growth.
Segbe Accrombessi, 22, Benin: Founder of Kawan Africa, an enterprise which produces and sells tomato puree. They set up workshops to train young girls to produce the puree and then become wholesalers who buy their products to sell them afterwards.
Balbina Gulam, 21, Tanzania: Founder of Huduma Smart, an enterprise that trains domestic workers and provide a job market for them.
Catherine Nalukwago, 22, Uganda: Catherine is the co-founder of Vertical and Micro Gardening an enterprise that has developed a product called The Vertical Farm which makes urban farming a viable micro-enterprise for low-income households.
Cecil Chikezie, 21, Kenya: Founder of Eco Makaa, a company that connects local fuel briquette
producers to a client base by recruiting the community's small-scale briquette producers who
collectively produce standardised briquettes.
Abdulwaheed Alayande, 21, Nigeria: Founder of TREP LABS, an enterprise offering a product called REALDRIP which is an infusion meter that makes blood transfusion and drip treatment simpler and safer.
Emmanuel Okon, 22, Nigeria: Okon founded Vmedkit – a health company that focuses on alleviating mental illnesses using virtual reality technology.
Raghda Medhat, 22, Egypt: Founder of Internsvalley, a system that connects fresh software engineers who seek work experience with international early stage start-ups through practical remote internship and job opportunities.
Yannick Kimanuka, 21, DRC: The KIM’s School Complex, founded by Yannick in 2018, is a nursery and primary school which aims to reduce the trend of intellectual disability found in children from her community.
Keep up with the latest news, meet the finalists, hear more about their ventures on our website and social media.
If you’d like to host or attend a broadcasting party for the Forum, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
This article first appeared on Ventureburn.
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]
Feature image: supplied