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2021 Anzisha Prize Applications open as need for job creation soars during pandemic

Mastercard Foundation and African Leadership Academy call on young African entrepreneurs to join the Anzisha Prize Fellowship program

About the Anzisha Prize
The Anzisha Prize is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with Mastercard
Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to fundamentally and significantly
increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa. They believe that a key to doing so is
to test, implement and then share models for identifying, training and connecting high potential,
very young entrepreneurs (15 to 22 year olds) so that many more organisations have better collective
success in creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs with the capabilities for scale. For more information,
visit: www.anzishaprize.org

Johannesburg, South Africa, 15 February 2021 – The Anzisha Prize launched the 2021 call for
Africa’s biggest award for young entrepreneurs between, 15 and 22. Applications have now opened
for the latest cohort, with successful entrepreneurs standing a chance to win a shared prize of
US$100 000 and join the prestigious Anzisha Prize fellowship program. As the COVID-19
pandemic disrupts the world, young entrepreneurs are building opportunities for their communities
and peers.

While some entrepreneurs were forced to change their business models, the pandemic highlighted the need for some services to be increased. 22-year-old Madagascan Matina Razafimahefa, who received US$15 000 as the 2020 first runner up, is the founder of Sayna – an Edtech venture school in Madagascar. The business sources, trains, and produces highly equipped young Africans in industry-specific digital skills. Despite some loss in revenue due to COVID-19, the business was able to pivot to online learning platforms, which supported their growth.

To date, Sayna has trained and placed over 2000 people in jobs across multiple African countries. “To drive economic recovery on the continent, we have to tap into every available resource. That includes young entrepreneurs, including young women entrepreneurs. Doing so takes intentionality. The Anzisha Prizes’ commitment to identifying and supporting very young entrepreneurs has only become more important in the wake of the pandemic. And the creativity, agility, and resourcefulness of young people has only become more valuable,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa, Mastercard Foundation. During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, women-led businesses on the continent are more susceptible to closure than those led by men. To boost support of female entrepreneurs, the program is encouraging young women to apply to access various offerings of the fellowship and become role models for other young women who want to pursue entrepreneurship. As the future of work is altered by a global pandemic, job creation by young entrepreneurs remains an important solution for youth unemployment. Supporting and investing in young entrepreneurs is smart business for an economically strong future.

Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at anzishaprize.org/apply.

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply and to nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize website:

➢ Website: www.anzishaprize.org/apply ➢ Website: www.anzishaprize.org/nominate ➢ Facebook: www.facebook.com/anzishaprize Media Contact: Kabelo Mothoa Irvine Partners +27 71 617 1029 kabelo@irvinepartners.co.za Bonney Feldman Irvine Partners +27 76 495 7167 bonney@irvinepartners.co.za

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