Cameroonian health-tech entrepreneur Melissa Bime has been crowned winner of the US$25,000 Anzisha Prize, for INFIUSS, her online blood bank and digital supply chain solution which ensures local hospitals have access to blood.
Hosted by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize celebrates Africa’s most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22.
Twenty-two (22) year old Bime was awarded the US$25,000 Grand Prize for her INFIUSS platform, which currently services 23 hospitals in Cameroon ensuring they have life-saving blood when and where they need it.
“Today, I stand here to represent every young girl out there that just has her dreams. I stand here to represent this amazing group of entrepreneurs that I am a part of. With these people, the future of Africa is very bright. We are going to change this continent,” Bime said, accepting the prize at the Awards gala.
The first runner up – awarded US$15,000 – was 18 year old Sierra Leonean Alhaji Siraj Bah, whose company produces paper bags and cooking briquettes; while 21 year old Ugandan Joan Nalubega was named second runner up – receiving US$12,500 – for her mosquito repellent soap.
The winners were selected from a group of 20 finalists, who participated in a 10 day accelerator prior to pitching their businesses to the Anzisha panel of judges. Each finalist received US$2,500.
“We are proud of all 20 finalists and are excited to see two young and dynamic women taking home top prizes. Their contributions will continue to impact their countries and they are role models for other young women across the continent. They are demonstrating how to turn obstacles into opportunities that create value and jobs for others,” said Koffi Assouan, programme manager at the Mastercard Foundation.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on February 15, 2019.