YOUNG entrepreneurs have been encouraged to contest the Anzisha Prize, Africa's top entrepreneurial awards which reward young Africans who are making a difference on the continent and in their communities.
The prestigious awards are hosted by the African Leadership Academy in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation to identify exceptional young entrepreneurs who are leading by example and underscore their ability to significantly shape the future of Africa.
"There are thousands of entrepreneurial African youth that are making a difference in their communities. We want to hear their stories, celebrate their successes and invest in their potential. We are delighted to be rewarding young entrepreneurs who could very well be the African business leaders of the future," said Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize programme manager.
According to the organisers, the word "Anzisha" is taken from Swahili and translates into "initiative". They noted that the project has been gaining significant momentum in African business circles since its inception three years ago as its impact is beginning to be felt.
The Anzisha Prize is open to entrepreneurs from around the African continent aged between 15 and 22 and applications close on April 1, 2013.
Entry forms are available online, via mobile phone and in print. The organisers have also have created a new nominations process as well as video-based submissions through YouTube to allow travellers, teachers and organisations to help uncover young innovators they may know in their communities.
Finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend a week-long entrepreneurship conference and awards gala. While there, they will be taught by ALA's renowned entrepreneurial leadership faculty as well as experienced business mentors.
Winners are also expected to share US$75 000 courtesy of the MasterCard Foundation, and would be given networking and learning opportunities to take their projects to the next level.