The African youth population, faced with biting unemployment and resource scarcity, is turning to innovation to solve the myriad of challenges they face in their society. The African Leadership Academy, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, has identified 12 accomplished young entrepreneurs as finalists for the 2015 Anzisha Prize. The Anzisha Prize team scoured far and wide in an extensive search for African entrepreneurial talent between the ages of 15 and 22.
The 12 finalists were selected from an impressive initial pool of 494 young entrepreneurs, up from 339 applications in 2014. The Anzisha Prize is proud to have attracted applicants from 33 African countries, with finalists from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia identified for the first time.
Finalists for the Anzisha Prize win a share of US$75,000 and access to ongoing support to scale their enterprises and expand their impact.
Daniel is a student at Makerere University, based in Kampala. Daniel realised that there is an opportunity to improve on-time goods delivery in Kampala in response to the poor road infrastructure and overcrowding on the roads.Daniel co-founded Transporter Corporation ltd, a transport and deliveries solutions company offering delivery services by motorcycle within Kampala.
Transporter Corporation carries out around 150 deliveries per day and employs 35 youth with an average employee-base age of 27.
Chantal Butare, 21 (Rwanda)
Chantal started KIDACO (Kinazi Dairy Cooperative) upon realizing how impactful market access could be to rural community members, especially women, who live in poverty. KIDACO buys milk from collectors, processes and sells them to consumers. In addition, the cooperative offers basic training for employees, widening their skill set. So far KIDACO has impacted many farmers in her community and has provided jobs for 10 people who serve as milk collectors.
Karidas Tshintsholo, 20 (South Africa)
Karidas co-founded Push Ismokol’ which designs, manufactures, markets and sells trendy sweat shirts, tee shirts and other clothing items. Alongside his business partner who designs and spearheads the artistic side of the business, Karidas spearheads the strategy, financing and marketing side of the venture.
Karidas and team utilize unconventional marketing tactics to create a coolness around the brand and increase market opportunity. The company has 6 employees who are offered gainful employment and trained in the manufacturing process on site.
Fabrice Alomo 22 (Cameroon)
Fabrice, and his co-founder, created MyAConnect – a web platform that aims to digitize trade in Africa through using technology to effect, how Africans buy, sell, and pay. The MyAConnect trading platform digitizes small businesses which in turn empowers them as most of them do not have huge marketing and advertising budget. More than 120 local businesses can be found on his website. The innovation of MyAConnect can be seen with their AMoney solution which enables people to buy and sell products without the need to have a visa card or bank account. MyAConnect has 9 employees.
Chris Kwekowe, 22 (Nigeria)
Chris and his team launched Slatecube which allows students to study at their convenience, build Cool stuff based on their chosen field of learning, work with real organisations to acquire industry-relevant skills and finally create social impact.
Last year, a group of students signed up to test the beta version of Slatecube. They learnt and acquired industry-relevant skills and were eventually adopted as interns in reputable ICT firms. After the course and experience with the platform, 100% of them have gone on to strike deals that’ll see them work for top companies upon graduation from the university. In addition, nearly 200 individuals actively use the Slatecube service to take free courses, acquire new knowledge, read new books, and serve virtual internships.
George Mtemahanji, 22 (Tanzania)
After graduating as a renewable energy technician in 2012, he co-founded SunSweet Solar Ltd, a solar energy company based in Tanzania which designs, plans, organizes and builds solar powered systems. The company imports solutions for solar energy techniques and materials at low cost, and implements in Tanzania, with the goal of bringing clean and affordable electricity to all. SunSweet Solar was responsible for installation of the largest solar energy system in Kilombero, at Benignis Girls Secondary School of Ifakara. George’s vision is to deliver and install over 10,000 systems for rural areas over the next five years, which would result in several families gaining access to electricity, saving trees, and improving the health of people in communities by replacing kerosene with solar energy.