The 2017 application season was extremely strong and competitive for the Anzisha prize. Over 800 young entrepreneurs submitted applications from across the continent. These young entrepreneurs each represent impactful members of their communities driving local employment and economic activity. As mentioned in prior blog posts, Anzisha entrepreneurs continue to represent a broad range of industries and diversity across the continent.
Anzisha’s success in identifying many young entrepreneurs has been reinforced by recent investments in the African entrepreneurship sector. In late July, Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced a $10M USD fund to support young entrepreneurs as a component of his trip representing the UN Conference on Trade and Development. In August, the Stanford Graduate Business school announced that it is investing $3M USD alongside De Beers to expand its entrepreneurship programs in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. Both investments signal confidence in the immense potential of the African entrepreneurship sector and its potential to stimulate African economies.
While some details of these investments remain to be identified, these events should be incredibly encouraging to young entrepreneurs across the continent. New sources of funding and resources have the potential to inspire additional opportunities for new enterprises. Competition will remain stiff, but increased availability of these partnerships will facilitate young entrepreneurs’ opportunities to find growth. Keep posted to the Anzisha newsletter and we will provide updates on these and any additional opportunities for young entrepreneurs.