The Anzisha Prize has revealed this year’s top 26 entrepreneurs who will each receive more than USD$5,000 (approximately UGX17.8 million) in funding and more than USD$15,000 (approximately UGX53.3 million) worth of venture building support services over three years —which are aligned with the prestigious fellowship’s new structure of enabling young people to receive the financial and mentoring support they need to succeed.
Among the twenty-six (26) entrepreneurs included two Ugandans; Jovia Nassuna Kintu, and Viola Kataike. The rest of the entrepreneurs are from; Benin, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe —running businesses in education, health, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and beauty.
The selected 26 entrepreneurs represent 17 countries with 30% being Francophone. Nigeria had the largest cohort with four in the top 26. Young women are well represented, making up 10 of the 26 entrepreneurs.
The 2021 Anzisha Fellows were selected from hundreds of applications across Africa and passed multiple stages of vetting and evaluation. They demonstrated how it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship as a career in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In selecting 26 Anzisha Fellows this year, the annual Anzisha Prize fellowship has more than doubled in size since its first selection process. In that time, Anzisha’s venture-building support team has worked closely with over 150 early-age entrepreneurs in over 30 African countries and has developed a pioneering approach to coaching, skills development, and business support that has now been packaged into a three-year learning journey.
“We’ve seen clearly that a transition from secondary or tertiary education directly into sustainable entrepreneurship requires both financial and learning support. Through our long-term partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we’re thrilled to not only announce an increase in the number of fellowships we can offer each year but also in the monetary support each venture will receive,” Josh Adler, Executive Director of the Anzisha Prize, said in a press statement.
Adler further adds that “Our fellowship offering has essentially been reframed as an alternative or accompaniment to university education for entrepreneurs in the 18-22 age group. The grand prizes, which recognized achievement prior to selection as a fellow, will now recognize excellence from young entrepreneurs who role model job creation, venture growth, storytelling, and process improvements during their fellowship.”
The entrepreneurs will participate in a virtual induction boot camp for 10 days where they will engage with business leaders and Anzisha Prize past winners. The boot camp will prepare them for what lies ahead over the next three years.
Philip Cotton, the Director of Human Capital Development at the Mastercard Foundation, said the foundation is committed to supporting the growth of the Anzisha Prize and betting on the potential of young entrepreneurs to drive transformation. He further said, “Young African entrepreneurs have continuously shown that they can rise to the challenge when given an opportunity.”
Cotton also said it has been a challenging 19 months around the world because of the Covid-19 but the caliber of innovators were consistently seen applying for the Anzisha Prize, proving that the rebuilding and reimagining of economies can be entrusted to young people.
Jovia Nassuna Kintu founded Kia Cosmetics that manufactures and sells affordable organic shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products to provide women with an alternative to hair care products containing chemical additives. In the next 5 years, Nassuna envisions Kia Cosmetics to be the leading cosmetics company in Uganda, and in East Africa that makes quality products that women use and work effectively.
Viola Kataike on the other hand founded A Hand for a Refugee (H4R) to train and empower refugees specifically in Kyangwali refugee camp by providing them with modern agricultural skills to improve their socio-economic status. In five years, Kataike aims at recruiting 350 volunteers to extend the program to the entire refugee community in Kyangwali camp, hopefully expanding to four other refugee camps in Uganda by holding a two-week training for interested individuals in each camp.
The 2021 Anzisha Prize Fellows are:
|Constant Ayihounoun||Benin||Agreco Sarl|
|Sergio Tabe Ashu||Cameroon||Excel Academy|
|Hebrey Issa Abraham||Cameroon||DATA|
|Krys Elfried Digbehi||Côte D’Ivoire||Yeyiba Restaurants|
|Victoire Bakunzi||Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)||Basuyi|
|Oumar Diogo Sow||Guinea||Felian Trading Limited|
|Martin Sure Ondiwa||Kenya||Greenfarms|
|Tsantatiana Fideranaharilala Rakotoarimanga||Madagascar||Dream Study Agency|
|Mahefarivo Thierry Andrianarinoa||Madagascar||Coufé Madagascar|
|Martin Masiya||Malawi||Sollys Energy|
|Adama Kanté||Mali||Food Sante|
|Ali Ould Mohamed||Mali||Créa-Couture|
|Renata Silva||Namibia||RS Clothing Brand|
|Eneyi Oshi||Nigeria||Maatalous Nasah|
|Esther Akin-Ajayi||Nigeria||Jemai Interiors|
|Oluwadamilola Akinosun||Nigeria||Grant Master|
|Grace Okezie||Nigeria||Royal Graced Baking Company|
|Rebecca Samuella Kalokoh||Sierra Leone||Grace Venture Natural Products|
|Amadu Deen Bah||Sierra Leone||Caballay Investment|
|Masello Mokhoro||South Africa||Starlicious Enterprises|
|Rebecca Taboukouna||Togo||RBK Pearls|
|Jovia Nassuna Kintu||Uganda||Kia Cosmetics|
|Viola Kataike||Uganda||A Hand for a Refugee (H4R)|
|Munyaradzi Makosa||Zimbabwe||Farmhut Africa|
|Tafadzwa Chikwereti||Zimbabwe||Murimi Electronic Agriculture|
Anzisha Prize applications for the 2022 cohort of young business owners open on 20th October 2021. Eligible entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at Anzishaprize.org/apply.