Satta Wahab, 21, founder of Naz Natural, a cosmetics company that creates organic hair care products for females, is among the fifteen finalists for the 2017 Anzisha Prize out of some eight hundred applicants who applied for the prestigious Award.
Anzisha Prize, supported by African Leadership Academy (ALA) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, celebrates and cultivates the next generation of young African entrepreneurial leaders who are creating job opportunities, solving local developmental problems and driving local economies.
According to a press release posted on the Anzisha Prize Website, the life-changing opportunity platform for young African entrepreneurs on the continent is for the first time having candidates from Liberia, Angola, Mauritius and Sudan, contesting for Anzisha Prize Award after passing the competition set entry criteria.
The release further states that candidates were selected from 14 African Countries, with young female African entrepreneurs out-numbering their male counterparts as the last fifteen finalists.
"We are excited by the number of young women finalists and thrilled that the prize is contributing to their economic empowerment," Anzisha Prize Associate Melissa Mbazo said. "The success of these women-led businesses will be accelerated by access to Anzisha's financial and mentorship support."
Also, candidates contesting for the prize are representing diverse sectors that include; agriculture, clean energy, waste recycling, and youth empowerment.
The fifteen finalists, including Liberia's Satta Wahab, are set to fly to Johannesburg to attend a 10-day entrepreneurial leadership bootcamp where they will be coached on how to pitch their business and would be evaluated by a panel of five judges who have contributed to building youth entrepreneurship in Africa.
Moreover, according to the release, finalists will also benefit from ALA's Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U), which provides consulting and training support to Anzisha finalists.
The training includes; the Anzisha Accelerator boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network, and business equipment, valued at US$7,500.
The grand prize winner will receive US$25,000, while the runners-up and third place winners will receive US$15,000 and US$12,500, respectively.
Furthermore, the remainder of the prize will be divided among outstanding finalists, including a $10,000 agricultural prize that is funded by the Louis Dreyfus Foundation, as well as four $5,000 challenge prizes to bolster initiatives led by past Anzisha Prize finalists. All other finalists will each receive $2,500 prizes.