Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

2021 Anzisha Prize applications open as need for job creation soars during pandemic

Related

The Anzisha Prize (www.AnzishaPrize.org) launched the 2021 call for Africa’s biggest award for young entrepreneurs between, 15 and 22. Applications have now opened for the latest cohort, with successful entrepreneurs standing a chance to win a shared prize of US$100 000 and join the prestigious Anzisha Prize fellowship program. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the world, young entrepreneurs are building opportunities for their communities and peers.

Last year the Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, celebrated 10 years of supporting Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs. To date, the 142 business owners in the program have created more than 2500 jobs. Youth employment continues to be a key challenge in many countries and Africa’s high unemployment rate is one of the leading barriers to growth prosperity on the continent. Young entrepreneurs are an indication that the youth demographic could be the asset needed to transform the continent’s employment climate.

“The world of work has drastically changed as we experience a global pandemic. Young entrepreneurs have remained steadfast and have supported their communities through difficulties. We’re thrilled to celebrate the next 20 young business owners who are, no doubt, paramount to job creation on the continent,” says Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

Young entrepreneurs are among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 crisis. An international Survey from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (https://bit.ly/3pmM42X) states that nearly 90% of young entrepreneurs report a negative impact on their business, including reduced customer demand, supply chain disruptions, and distribution disruptions. Despite this, many young entrepreneurs are still creating opportunities and jobs for their communities. 21-year-old Egyptian Alaa Moatamed, last year’s Anzisha Prize winner and the co-founder of Presto – an automated, delivery system that connects vendors with customers and suppliers, was able to increase the business revenue by providing delivery services to smaller businesses to cope with demand during the outbreak of COVID-19. She currently employs 11 under-25 employees and plans on increasing that number.

While some entrepreneurs were forced to change their business models, the pandemic highlighted the need for some services to be increased. 22-year-old Madagascan Matina Razafimahefa, who received US$15 000 as the 2020 first runner up, is the founder of Sayna – an Edtech venture school in Madagascar. The business sources, trains, and produces highly equipped young Africans in industry-specific digital skills. Despite some loss in revenue due to COVID-19, the business was able to pivot to online learning platforms, which supported their growth. To date, Sayna has trained and placed over 2000 people in jobs across multiple African countries.

“To drive economic recovery on the continent, we have to tap into every available resource. That includes young entrepreneurs, including young women entrepreneurs. Doing so takes intentionality. The Anzisha Prizes’ commitment to identifying and supporting very young entrepreneurs has only become more important in the wake of the pandemic. And the creativity, agility, and resourcefulness of young people has only become more valuable,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa, Mastercard Foundation.

During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, women-led businesses on the continent are more susceptible to closure than those led by men. To boost support of female entrepreneurs, the program is encouraging young women to apply to access various offerings of the fellowship and become role models for other young women who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

As the future of work is altered by a global pandemic, job creation by young entrepreneurs remains an important solution for youth unemployment. Supporting and investing in young entrepreneurs is smart business for an economically strong future.

Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at www.anzishaprize.org/apply.

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

  • Website: www.anzishaprize.org/apply
  • Website: www.anzishaprize.org/nominate
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/anzishaprize

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Anzisha Prize.

Media Contact:
Kabelo Mothoa
Irvine Partners
+27 71 617 1029
kabelo@irvinepartners.co.za

Bonney Feldman
Irvine Partners
+27 76 495 7167
bonney@irvinepartners.co.za

About the Anzisha Prize:
The Anzisha Prize (www.AnzishaPrize.org) is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa. They believe that a key to doing so is to test, implement and then share models for identifying, training and connecting high potential, very young entrepreneurs (15 to 22 year olds) so that many more organisations have better collective success in creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs with the capabilities for scale. For more information, visit: www.AnzishaPrize.org.

About African Leadership Academy:
African Leadership Academy (ALA) (www.AfricanLeadershipAcademy.org) 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 www.AfricanLeadershipAcademy.org.

About the Mastercard Foundation:
The Mastercard Foundation (www.MastercardFdn.org) works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.  It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.MastercardFdn.org.


Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet