Premier award for Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders announced.

Posted on May 6, 2011


African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation are proud to announce the launch of the Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders.

This annual prize – the first of its kind for youth in Africa – seeks to celebrate young innovators, ages 15 to 20, who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities. African Leadership Academy will collaborate with its vast network of schools, youth organisations and other partners across Africa to help identify young leaders whose passion for Africa drives them to design and develop innovative projects that transform their communities and the continent.

“The Anzisha Prize celebrates the innovation and entrepreneurship of outstanding young men and women in Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “African Leadership Academy is inspiring youth across Africa to use their ideas to become leaders of positive change, and The MasterCard Foundation is proud to be a partner in this important initiative.”

“We will comb Africa in search of young people ages 15 to 20 who are creating value and addressing pain points in their communities by launching innovative for-profit and non-profit ventures. We will publicly celebrate the winners, giving away over $70,000 dollars in Prize money and broadcasting their stories across Africa and around the world,” said Chris Bradford, Founder and Executive Vice President of African Leadership Academy. “By sharing the stories of these incredible role models with other African youth, we hope to ignite their passions and inspire their confidence to follow in the footsteps of their fellow leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Anzisha Prize applications are available online at and may be submitted by young leaders across North, South, East, West, and Central Africa. The Anzisha Prize will celebrate young entrepreneurs in the private and social sectors – both for-profit efforts that generate employment for other members of the community, and non-profit efforts that address entrenched social problems in the community. Applicants will be evaluated on the impact, ingenuity, and scalability of their entrepreneurial efforts.

The Anzisha Prize is managed out of African Leadership Academy’s Entrepreneurship Center, which was established through a $1.6 million multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Entrepreneurship Center, African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation seek to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship among young people across the continent. The Entrepreneurship Center will further develop and share Africa Leadership Academy’s entrepreneurship curriculum with organizations across the continent, and will promote entrepreneurial leadership across Africa with initiatives like the Anzisha Prize.

“The Anzisha Prize will have widespread impact on Africa by encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurial
leaders across the continent,” added Bradford. “We are thrilled to have the support of The MasterCard Foundation – one of the most innovative philanthropic organizations working in Africa today – in delivering this crucial initiative.”

How to Apply
African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation invite youth organisations, schools and individuals to nominate talented and innovative African youth to apply for The Anzisha Prize.

Candidates should describe a project of their initiation that offers a new and better approach to a pressing
problem in their community. Application forms can be downloaded online at

What is awarded?
Eight finalists from across Africa will win an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to be part of a week-long entrepreneurship workshop at the African Leadership Academy campus on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The grand prize winners, selected from these finalists, will share prizes worth $70,000 USD, which they may use to take their projects to new heights.

What is the criteria?
Applicants must be aged between 15 and 20 years old. Each applicant will be judged on the following:
* Impact: applicant’s efforts have a demonstrated, measurable and positive outcome.
* Ingenuity: applicant takes a new and better approach to a pressing problem in his or her community.
* Scalability: applicant’s solution has the potential to be replicated in communities facing similar challenges.

When can I enter?
As soon as possible! The closing date for the competition is May 31, 2011 but early submissions are highly encouraged.

For more information, visit ;email –; call +27 11 699 3000, or SMS +27 79 979 1361.

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