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2018 Anzisha Prize applications launch with youth entrepreneurship tour and talks across Africa

Learn from Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs under 25

Johannesburg, South Africa 5 March 2018 – The annual Anzisha Prize has launched the 2018 call for applications for Africa’s most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22. Applicants will have the opportunity to win a share of US$100,000, connect to a global network of leaders, and receive business consulting support. The grand prize winner will take home $25,000, the first runner-up will receive $15,000 and second runner-up will receive $12,500. The Anzisha Prize program is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation that was established in 2011.

With the seventh Anzisha Prize application phase now open, the organizers are excited to announce the launch of the Anzisha Prize Tour where young entrepreneurs will travel to South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon to offer lessons as Africa’s youngest business owners.

“The Anzisha Prize has been running for more than five years and we are at a stage where we can showcase the success of very young entrepreneurs so they can serve as relatable and reachable examples to their peers,” said Melissa Mbazo, Programs Manager for Anzisha Prize. “A key goal for the Anzisha Prize is to celebrate the power of youth-led businesses in Africa to create jobs and viable livelihoods. Identifying and telling the stories of successful, relevant and young African entrepreneurs will inspire youth across the African continent.”

The entrepreneurs are part of the Anzisha fellowship. One business owner is Maemu Lambani, a 21-year-old young woman from South Africa who started her own digital marketing agency with the goal of transforming local businesses into global brands. She will be joined by Koffi N’guessan, 21, from Ivory Coast who founded an ambitious initiative that produces and markets food crops. Fellows such as Maemu and Koffi will host speaking engagements and events with organizations throughout Africa.

“The Anzisha Prize has significantly invested in the transformative power of African youth,” says Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “It is exciting to see these young entrepreneurs ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in their peers as they share their compelling and inspirational stories about the impact their ventures has had on their families and communities.”

The prize is open to any African national between the ages of 15 and 22 who has founded or co-founded a currently operational social venture or for-profit business in any sector in Africa. Judging criteria includes a commitment by applicants to grow their venture into a job-creation engine that contributes to their community. Additional criteria can be found in the application materials.

2017 Anzisha Prize Finalists

Applications close on 31 March 2018 and the Prize tour will commence prior to the deadline. Individuals and organizations interested in sharing stories of social impact are advised to contact the Anzisha Prize team and join them for the Prize tour for an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs such as Grand Prize winners Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate (Ivory Coast) and Yaye Souadou Fall (Senegal).

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

➢ Website:

➢ Facebook:

➢ Twitter: @anzishaprize (#AnzishaEffect)

Media Contact
Melissa Mbazo
African Leadership Academy
+27 11 699 3000

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 catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit

About 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.

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