Entries now open for Africa’s $75,000 youth entrepreneurship prize

The Anzisha Prize is now accepting applications for 2015 with launch events across the African continent.

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Entries are now open for the Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s top young entrepreneurs. Over US$75,000 in cash prizes will be shared among 12 of the continent’s most exciting social and business entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 years old.

To ensure no young innovator is overlooked, the Anzisha Prize is encouraging nominations from parents, community leaders and peers to identify hidden talent.

Hosted by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize celebrates initiative and innovation. Now in its fifth year, the Prize has grown into one of the most sought after awards for young entrepreneurs on the continent. In addition to cash prizes, past winners and finalists have since benefitted from media exposure, funding, access to business networks and continuous support through mentorship.

The 12 finalists also win an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to be a part of a week-long entrepreneurship workshop at the prestigious African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.

Luanda to Rabat: the search is on
Application forms and information are available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic. And to ensure that young entrepreneurs across the continent are made aware of the Prize, the Anzisha team will also be traveling to a number of exciting African cities for the first time.

“We are travelling across the continent – from west to east; north to south,” explains Wadzi Katsidzira, leader of the 2015 Anzisha Prize Tour activities. “We want young people everywhere to follow our travels on Facebook and give us advice on where to find the best young entrepreneurs in Africa right now.”

Next week official tour activities will be held in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Luanda (Angola), Kampala (Uganda), followed by Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Rabat (Morocco) in March. Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos will also host the Anzisha in the coming weeks.

The Anzisha Prize has also partnered with over 25 organisations across the continent that will be available to assist applicants in countries where the tour does not reach.

Criteria: initiative, innovation and impact
‘Anzisha’ means ‘initiate’ in Swahili, and that is what the Prize is about. Africa’s solutions lies within its youth, and the Anzisha Prize is looking for young leaders between the ages of 15 and 22 who are using entrepreneurship to solve problems in their communities and inspire change.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Impact – demonstrated, measurable and positive social or economic return.
  • Ingenuity – a new or improved approach to a challenge or market opportunity.
  • Scalability – the potential to grow into significant businesses or projects.
  • Leadership Potential – the qualities to be a role model for Africa’s youth.

“It was Nelson Mandela who said the youth are the future of a nation, and have the power to bring about drastic change. We at the Anzisha Prize agree, and want to support young people who are creating jobs, providing solutions and ultimately changing Africa’s story to one of success.”

Applications close on April 15th 2015, and nominations are encouraged. Visit anzishaprize.org to apply or nominate now. Both paper and electronic applications are accepted.

Follow the story of this year’s Anzisha Prize online (anzishaprize.org), on Facebook (fb.com/anzishaprize), Twitter (twitter.com/anzishaprize) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/anzishaprize)


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.

Web Banners, Flyers & Posters
Want posters for your office? Let us know and we’ll send you some! If you have a website or online magazine with available advertising inventory, we would greatly appreciate you using our attached web banners to encourage nominations for the Anzisha Prize. Email prize@anzishaprize.org for more information.

Images and Content
A full media centre with logos, photos and interviews is available at www.anzishaprize.org/media-centre. 

Exclusive media interviews with promising local applicants
As applications are recieved, the Anzisha Prize would like to connect you with the most promising applicants from your region for interviews. If this is of interest to your publication, please reach out to the Anzisha Prize team.

For more information and regular updates visit:


Press Contact:
Melissa Mbazo – media liason, Anzisha Prize
Email: prize@anzishaprize.org   / +27 11 699 3000