Anzisha Prize for African youth entrepreneurs opens applications for 2017

African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation today launched the 2017 call for applications for the Anzisha Prize, Africa’s award for youth entrepreneurs who are making their mark on Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape. Fifteen of Africa’s most promising business and social entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 have the opportunity to win a share of US$100,000, receive ongoing business consulting services, and connect to a global network of leaders.

“Finalists for the Prize win far more than access to a share of the pool of US$100,000 in prize money, they also access a business incubation fellowship aimed at growing their business and supporting their professional development,” said Grace Kalisha, Senior Programs Manager for Anzisha Prize.

Top 12 entrepreneurs selected for Anzisha Prize Fellowship in 2016

Now in its seventh year, the Anzisha Fellow experience includes a fellowship valued at US$7,500 for each participant, providing an accelerator camp, business consulting services, networking opportunities and ongoing individualized support. Anzisha Prize aims to scale the businesses of these young entrepreneurs, enabling them to employ other youth and showcase the power of youth-led business in Africa. A key goal is to celebrate these successful and relevant African entrepreneurship icons who will inspire young people everywhere to follow in their footsteps. This year, Anzisha Prize has increased the number of youth to be selected as finalists. In previous years, only 12 were chosen and this year 15 finalists will be flown to South Africa to compete for the grand prize.

“The Anzisha prize is an investment in the transformative power of African youth leadership,” says Koffi Assouan, Program Manager at The MasterCard Foundation. “The Grace Kalisha notes that there are a few exciting changes this year. Applicants will enjoy business planning workshops across select African countries, with semi-finalists receiving a feedback session with the Anzisha Prize team to support their business. “The process will be higher touch for applicants in order to offer much needed entrepreneurial support that is in short supply for Africa’s youth,” she says.Prize celebrates the successes of entrepreneurs and community leaders, inspiring other budding young entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps and lead for change.”

Applicants are advised that a change in criteria for selection will enable them to demonstrate their unique contribution to the venture they have founded, as well as their commitment to growing that venture into a job-creation engine. Finalists for the Prize will benefit their businesses by participating in a fellowship package valued at US$7,500 with ALA’s Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U) which includes the Anzisha Accelerator boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network and business equipment.

In order to be eligible to apply for Anzisha Prize, the entrepreneur should be a national of an African country, be between the ages of 15 and 22 at the time of consideration, and be a founder or founding member of a running venture in any sector.

Applications will close on 1 April 2017, and the Anzisha Prize team encourages nominations from teachers, parents and community members to identify talented young people. The Anzisha Prize is one of the most accessible and inclusive pan-African opportunities for youth. Application forms and information are available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic. Both paper and electronic applications are accepted.

Meet 2016 Grand Prize Winners Heretiaina Randriamananatahina (Madagascar), Yaye Souadou Fall (Senegal) and Koffi N’guessan (Côte d’Ivoire) and be part of our story at or join our growing community on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply and to nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize website:

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➢ Twitter: @anzishaprize (#AnzishaEffect)

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About the Anzisha Prize
The Anzisha Prize is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organizers seek to catalyze innovation and scale 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 catalyze large-scale change. For more information, visit

About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.