A Kenyan is among 15 finalists of the 2017 edition of Anzisha Prize, a platform developed by Africa Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation to grow innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent.
Gerald Matolo, a 20-year- old founder of Angaza Africa Technologies which makes briquette-machines, solid waste carbonisation kilns and processes biomass briquettes is among candidates from 14 countries with businesses in various sectors including clean energy, agriculture, waste recycling and youth empowerment.
Matolo will join other finalists in Johannesburg for a 10-day entrepreneurial leadership training course where they will be taught on how to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for the top prize of $25,000 (Sh2.5 million), $15,000 (Sh1.5 million) and $12,500 (Sh1.25 million) for the second and third runners up, respectively.
An additional $47,500 (Sh4.75 million) will be shared out equally among other finalists.
“We are excited by the number of young women finalists and thrilled that the prize is contributing to their economic empowerment.
The success of these women-led businesses will be accelerated by access to Anzisha’s financial and mentorship support,” said Anzisha Prize Associate Melissa Mbazo.
Other finalists in this year’s Anzisha Prize edition include Liberian Satta Wahab, founder of Naz Naturals, a cosmetics company that creates organic hair care products, and Thowiba Alhaj, proprietor of Work Jump-Up Sudan, an organisation that links university students to job opportunities.
“The calibre and diversity of the young men and women competing for this year’s Anzisha Prize is impressive and improves each year,” said Koffi Assouan, Programme Manager, Youth Livelihoods at the MasterCard Foundation.