The African Leadership Academy and MasterCard Foundation announced Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, 22-year-old agriculture entrepreneur from Madagascar, as the winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the 6th annual edition of Anzisha Prize. Heritiaina is the founder of Fiombonana, an agro-processing enterprise that manufactures dairy products and confectioneries using only Malagasy raw materials, employing farmers and providing local job opportunities. Heritiaina was selected from a competitive pool of diverse entrepreneurs from all over Africa.
The first runner-up was environmental entrepreneur Yaye Souadou Fall, 21 from Senegal won $15,000 while agricultural entrepreneur N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier, 19, from Cote d’Ivoire, was second runner-up winning $12,500.
Agriculture represented the sector with the largest share of applicants for the prize this year. Heritiaina impressed a pan-African panel of judges with his venture response to a real need within his community, effective business model, job-creation potential, scalability, and demonstrated leadership potential. Fiombonana has enjoyed significant success to date including sizeable growth producing 800kg of cheese a week, with potential for rapid and low-cost expansion due to food processing innovations. “I am so excited to win the Anzisha Prize for 2016, even though I had to drop out of school when I was in grade six. My hard work in my business is paying off. I appreciate the training I have already received so far. Now that I have won, I will invest in my own education and grow my business,” says Heritiaina.
The first runner-up Yaye Souadou, founder of E-cover is also the first Senegalese entrepreneur ever in the top three in the history of Anzisha Prize. The core need of the venture meets is to repurpose the many discarded tyres into multi-purpose tiles for paving playgrounds, pavements, roads, and other surfaces. Yaye believes that youth can be agents of change to solve the problems that Africa faces and can drive the pursuit of opportunities for economic growth. Her win will enable her to build the production capacity that her venture desperately needs in order to meet customer demand.
N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier from Cote d’ Ivoire is the remarkable second runner-up who founded Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI. Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI is an agricultural group with the aim of producing and selling chocolate and food crops for profit and mobilizing youth for agricultural employment. Koffi has managed to create employment for 35 people improving livelihoods for over 100 households through access to innovative farming practices.
“Anzisha Prize is a truly inclusive and pan-African Prize. The program is run in a multi-lingual learning environment in which entrepreneurs can learn regardless of their preferred language of instruction such as Arabic, French, Portuguese, and even Malagasy this year. The entrepreneurs really represent the true cream of the crop from the entire continent,” says Grace Kalisha, Program Manager for the Anzisha Prize.
The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries. Now in its 6th year, Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people at an exclusive, invitation-only ceremony on Tuesday 25 October 2016 in Johannesburg. The 12 finalists presented their ventures to a panel of judges after spending ten days in a business accelerator camp to strengthen business fundamentals. They join a now 67 strong pool of Anzisha Fellows and will receive ongoing business consulting support, access to experts, and access to networking opportunities to enable sustainable venture growth.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2017. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.