The Anzisha Prize, which is Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship and in its 5th year, has just announcedthis year’s winners, and two young women entrepreneurs impressed the judging panel. Fashion entrepreneur Mabel Suglo, 22 and the founder of Eco-Shoes from Ghana, was 2nd Runner Up in the competition and Chantal Butare, founder of Kinazi Dairy Cooperative in Rwanda received the prestigious Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture.
Mabel Suglo is a rising star on the African footwear scene and was awarded a prize of $12,500 for her entrepreneurship activities. Her company, Eco Shoes, offers an assortment of shoes and accessories that are fashionable and Afro-themed, using recycled materials. Her employee-base is made up of predominantly disabled individuals and she aims to increase their economic participation through real job opportunities. Mabel believes that disability is not inability and employs people with a variety of disabilities to create products that she sells into wholesale and retail markets. “There are millions of discarded car tyre stockpiles and waste materials in Ghana which pose an environmental and health hazard,” says Suglo.“Eco-Shoes rescues some of the millions of tyres and other material waste creating an environmental nuisance, to make fashionable and comfortable shoes. I seek to build a community of conscious consumers with a forward thinking team who believe re-using and recycling can turn trash into treasure.”
The prestigious Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture was awarded to Chantal Butare, founder of Kinazi Dairy Cooperative in Rwanda. Chantal’s cooperative collects milk from over 3,000 families in her community, and processes the milk for sale. She generates income for these families, as well as for ten milk collectors who are in her employ. Her ambition is motivate for sufficient capital to mechanize her process and increase scale to create revenue for yet more families in her community. “My vision is to help eradicate poverty and hunger among vulnerable people in my community,” explains Chantal. She is a shining example of youth role models that Anzisha Prize aims to celebrate, particularly those youth who are operating successfully in sectors that are considered non-traditional for youth, but that have immense potential to catalyze economic growth in Africa.
“I continue to be impressed by the caliber of youth entrepreneurs that Africa has to offer and congratulate them on their ability to inspire both ourselves and the rest of the continent.”
- Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation
“Over the past five years, we have seen the Anzisha Prize evolve from a one-time prize for social entrepreneurship, to an entire community of young, innovative leaders across Africa who have access to comprehensive support and networking opportunities,” says Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “I continue to be impressed by the caliber of youth entrepreneurs that Africa has to offer and congratulate them on their ability to inspire both ourselves and the rest of the continent.”
The 2015 Anzisha Prize Finalists were celebrated at a prestigious invitation-only ceremony on Tuesday, November 17th 2015 at Room Five venue in Rivonia, Johannesburg in South Africa. The keynote speaker was Alex Okosi, pioneer of MTV Networks in Africa, a staunch proponent for a truly African voice for youth. The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 finalists for Anzisha Prize for 2015 were selected from an impressive initial pool of 494 young entrepreneurs, up from 339 applications in 2014. The Anzisha Prize is proud to have attracted applicants from 33 African countries, with finalists from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia identified for the first time this year. Applications were also received from a diversity of sectors, with agriculture having the most applicants. Now in its fifth year, The Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people during Global Entrepreneurship Week joining the worldwide festivities. Having received a share of US$75,000, the Anzisha Finalists join a growing pool of now 54 Fellows to receive access to ongoing support to scale their enterprises and expand their impact.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on the 15th of February in 2016. However, nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are open all year round.