Applications open for $100k Anzisha entrepreneurship prize

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Applications have opened for the sixth Anzisha Prize, with the competition looking for 12 of Africa’s youngest, most innovative social and business entrepreneurs under the age of 22.

Disrupt Africa reported in November Nigerian skills learning and job placement platform Slatecube was named winner of the Anzisha grand prize for African youth entrepreneurship, with founder Chris Kwekowe awarded US$25,000.

Applications are now open for the 2016 edition, co-hosted by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and the MasterCard Foundation, which will see a significant increase in the support available to selected entrepreneurs over the next five years.

Each of the 12 finalists will now receive a US$7,500 fellowship package with the ALA’s Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U), which includes the Anzisha Week boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network and business equipment, while a new US$25,000 prize category has been created to recognise social entrepreneurs.

These additions bring the total prize pool to US$100,000, with the grand prize winner taking home US$25,000, the first runner-up receiving US$15,000 and the second runner-up receiving US$12,500. The remaining nine finalists will receive US$2,500.

“It is essential that we nurture young, African entrepreneurial talent if we want to see the economic gains we all hope for in the future,” said Koffi Assouan, programme manager for the Anzisha Prize at the MasterCard Foundation.

“Through the provision of leadership skills, access to finance and business networking opportunities, these young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to improve their lives and the lives of others.”

The prize is open to any African national under the age of 22 with an active project, social venture or for-profit business based on the continent. Applications close on April 15.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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