For the first ever distribution of the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship to youth, three Anzisha Prize Fellows have been nominated by one of Africa’s most prominent leadership communities. Five days ago, Anzisha Fellows: Fabrice Alomo, Chukwuwezam Obanor and Andrew Mupuya packed their bags to head over to the beautiful country of Mauritius to be recognized amongst the prestigious crowd the African Leadership Network annual conference attracts. As the only contenders for the title of Africa’s top young person in entrepreneurship, the audience’s optimism about Africa’s future was heightened when they learned of the Fellows demonstrated venture growth, leadership in their communities as African youth and their clear vision for scale and sustainability.
We are proud to announce 2014 Anzisha Fellow, Chukwuwezam Obanor, founder of PrepClass.ng was selected as winner of the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship in the Youth Category. When we caught up with Chukwuwezam, he shared with us: “The entire experience was phenomenal and gave me a different perspective about Africa. I met so many amazing people from across the continent and had incredible conversations with them. The ALN helped me re-assess my ambitions and set them higher than ever knowing that there are so many people on the continent who have achieved remarkable feats.”
PrepClass.ng offers quick test taking strategies, targeted examination practices, and provide home tutors in Lagos trained to meet student’s academic needs. Chukwuwezam’s creation of PrepClass.ng is a natural progression inspired by his educationalist background. His family has run a group of schools for over 25 years. Due to his understanding of the Nigerian education system, Chukwuwezam recognized an opportunity in the Nigerian market for personalized tutoring. When PrepClass.ng first came about, the platform’s primary goal was to serve as a test prep site which prepares students for local tests and exams. Since then, the social enterprise then evolved to also recruiting tutors to address the student to teacher ratio gap and to assist students with areas of difficulties and training them to acquire various skills. His current role with the company includes managing finances, marketing, day to day strategy and determining the venture’s long term goals.
Since Chukwuwezam’s selection in 2014, his team has grown from two individuals working in an apartment to a team of 17 with three departments in Nigeria. His vision is to grow PrepClass.ng to be the biggest educational technology brand in Africa by 2020. To achieve this he has a four point strategy which hinges on investing in technology, scaling in major cities, forming strategic partnerships and monitoring academic impact to prove PrepClass.ng’s success. Chukwuwezam’s company has been recognized as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in Africa by Fast Company. At only 25, he surely has a lot to be proud of.
The other two contenders for the award from the Anzisha Fellow pool, Andrew and Fabrice have also shown remarkable growth in their businesses that their competitors can only imagine of. Andrew Mupuya is founder of YELI (Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments) the first local registered paper bag and envelope producing company in Uganda.
Since Andrew’s Anzisha Prize selection in 2012, he went from having 14 employees to 24 employees and customer reach includes countries such as United States, Finland, Norway, South Africa and Rwanda. When Andrew is not working he lends his time as an adviser to Pakasa Forum and KOUD Uganda Limited. His personal goal is to employ 1,000 people by 2025 and set up paper bag making plants in order to achieve a vision of a cleaner Africa.
Similarly, Fabrice has a great vision for taking MyAConnect to the next level: He seeks to expand his financial services to reach 500,000 rural smallholder farmers in Western Africa by 2025. MyAConnect creates market access to the unbanked through providing access to financial services to via mobile money transfers. He works towards this vision by initiating strategic partnerships with his customers and beneficiaries. Since Fabrice Alomo’s selection for the Anzisha fellowship in 2015, his venture has quadrupled in beneficiaries. He continues to invest in business process and systems in order to create a sustainable venture.
Regardless that a winner was selected amongst the three, as the only three youth to be recognized for what is dubbed as the ‘Oscars’ of Entrepreneurship in Africa, their progress is certainly enviable and one for African youth to aspire to.