The African Leadership Network (ALN) has announced the launch of the 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, which recognize and award business leaders who serve as role models to Africa's aspiring entrepreneurs and who demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability.
The 2014 Awards ceremony will be held in Kigali in November during the 2014 Annual Gathering, ALN's yearly convention, which brings together ALN members, entrepreneurs, investors, policy-makers, and government leaders.
In its eighth year since inception, the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship have attracted more than 7,000 applications from African businesses and awarded prizes of over $1.6 million to 30 leading entrepreneurs.
"We are very excited to launch the 2014 Awards process as we aim to identify and honor the most outstanding entrepreneurs that are driving social and economic change throughout the continent," said ALN CEO Isaac Fokuo. "Last year's competition produced exceptional winners with unique businesses and inspiring stories, and we intend to build on this momentum to identify equally compelling and dynamic candidates this year."
The 2013 Awards process considered candidates from 46 African countries, yielding an encouraging group of finalists from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and The Gambia.
The awards are open to companies that are domiciled in Africa, that are not subsidiaries of larger organizations, and that have been profitable for at least two years. There are five Award categories which recognize entrepreneurs at different stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle:
Lifetime Achievement Award - Awarded to a senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades and has left an enduring legacy of success in Africa;
Transformational Business Award - Citation and trophy awarded to a leading business with revenues greater than $50 million that has created significant socio-economic impact in Africa under the direction of a notable business leader;
Outstanding Mature Business Award - $100,000 prize to an established company led by a strong business leader who has generated revenues between $5m and $50m;
Outstanding Growing Business - $50,000 prize to a young, remarkable African business with revenues between $500,000 and $5 million;
Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award - $50,000 prize awarded to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship while sustainably addressing the socioeconomic development of low-income communities in Africa. To be eligible, the organization, which may be structured as non-profit or for-profit, must: have been founded or be currently run by an African citizen; demonstrate annual revenues between $150,000 and $2.5 million in the last financial year; and be primarily focused on social return.
The 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs with firms that are fully registered in the continent and that:
Have revenues of over $150,000 for social entrepreneurs and over $500,000 for all other categories;
Have been profitable for the last two consecutive years;
Are independent, that is, not a subsidiary of a foreign entity; and
Are free of legal actions.
Nominees will be selected through a rigorous and transparent selection process. A vetting team of business analysts, auditors and market and sector experts will review and shortlist the most outstanding nominations across each of the five categories, considering the entrepreneur's story as well as key performance indicators of business excellence.
The Finalists are judged by an international panel of leading business experts through interviews and comprehensive reviews of company reports based on the following criteria:
Sustainability and innovation
Profitability and growth
Long-term business strategy
Leadership, culture and values
Investment in employees
Social and economic impact on communities
No financial data on the selected companies will be divulged without the companies' consent. The decisions of AAE with respect to all aspects of the selection process are final and binding on all applicants without the right to appeal.
For more information:
Website: http://africaawards.com/ or http://www.africanleadershipnetwork.com
Twitter: @AfricaAwards; @Prosper4Africa; #AfricaAwards