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Yannick Kimanuka from the Democratic Republic of Congo (middle) won the Grand Prize for founding a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in her community/Photo: AMA

Congolese wins Young African Entrepreneur of the Year award

Anzisha Prize and the Mastercard Foundation announce 21-year old Yannick Kimanuka, a young Congolese Entrepreneur as $25,000 prize winner of the 2019 Africa’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year

It was a night of celebration on Tuesday in Johannesburg as the Anzisha Prize, in partnership with the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and Mastercard Foundation, awarded $25,000 to 21-year-old Yannick Kimanuka from the Democratic Republic of Congo and crowned her the winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize. The KIM’s School Complex, founded by Yannick in 2018, is a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in her community.
 
“I am so happy. I cannot believe this. Thank you to the Anzisha team and my fellow finalists. Tonight, I am not only filled with joy but I am filled with hope for the future of this continent. My fellow entrepreneurs have fuelled my passions and desires for a better continent,” said Yannick Kimanuka during her acceptance speech at the 2019 Anzisha Prize Forum held in Johannesburg.
 
Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, a 19-year-old from the Republic of Congo will receive $15 000 as he was announced as the first runner-up which was an unexpected delight. “I want to tell young entrepreneurs that Africa needs us and that we must work hard to see the change we want and apply for the Anzisha Prize,” he said.
 
Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, a 19-year-old from the Republic of Congo (middle) received $15,000 as the first runner-up/Photo: AMA
 
 
The festivities also included the announcement of the second runner-up Cecil Chikezie, a 22-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur who founded Eco Makaa, a company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base by recruiting the community’s small-scale briquette producers. As the second runner up, he will receive $12,500 in prize money. “It has been a life-changing experience and I am looking forward to realizing my dream of bettering the lives of my peers,” said Cecil Chikezie. 
 
“Every year, we are overwhelmed by the incredible businesses that the top 20 finalists are running. This year was no different. We are proud of the winners and are encouraged by their efforts to create more opportunities for other young people on the continent,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation.
 
This year the Anzisha Prize Forum was a half day curated experience that included workshops on the Anzisha Scenario which gave stakeholders an opportunity to rethink their approach to youth entrepreneurship.
 
On the journey to crowning the winners, the 20 finalists were put through their paces participating in an 11-day boot camp at the ALA campus where they were coached by industry experts on how to run successful businesses.
 
This boot camp aids in fostering collaborative synergies between the young entrepreneurs and will hopefully continue after their time together in Johannesburg. After returning home, each finalist will receive US$2,500 in prize money and join the prestigious Anzisha Fellowship.
 
Cecil Chikezie (middle), a 22-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur, won the third prize/Photo: AMA
 
The Fellowship package consists of eight tailored opportunities to help fellows scale their businesses. This year, the Fellowship package will include a new consulting initiative and job shadowing projects that are aimed at providing unique opportunities for all fellows. 
 
For the past nine years, the Anzisha Prize program has continued to champion Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs. This year was no different as the program managed to reach very young entrepreneurs in remote areas. During the due diligence trips, the Anzisha team had the unique opportunity to meet all top 20 finalists in their home countries and see their businesses first hand. After travelling to over 23 countries and reaching more candidates in remote areas, the Anzisha Prize program is invested in supporting very young entrepreneurs as the program will celebrate their decennial next year.
 
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2020. If you’d like to nominate young entrepreneurs visit anzishaprize.org/nominate. Entrepreneurs’ nominations are welcome all year round. 
 
To bask in the celebratory moments of the Anzisha Prize, register at anzisha.org/finalists to watch the CNBC Africa special on 28 October 2019 on channel 410 on DStv.
 
Report distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Anzisha Prize.
 
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. 
 
About African Leadership Academy 
African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit http://africanleadershipacademy.org. 
 
About the Mastercard Foundation 
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
 

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