Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 has announced its 12 finalists for 2015.
The finalists, selected from almost 500 applicants, represent nine African countries.
The top three winners will be announced towards the end of November, with the grand prize winner taking home $25,000.
Here are this year’s 12 finalists:
Daniel Mukisa, 21, Uganda – Motorbike delivery service in Kampala
Ugandan Daniel Mukisa is a student at Makerere University who has an eye for market opportunities and passion for youth employment. In January he co-founded Transporter Corporation, a Kampala-based motorbike delivery service.
Chantal Butare, 21, Rwanda – Dairy cooperative empowering women genocide survivors
Chantal Butare, a student at the University of Rwanda, has a strong desire to help genocide survivors provide for their children in her country.
One way she is doing this is through her Kinazi Dairy Cooperative (KIDAKO), an initiative she launched in 2012 after she realised many dairy farmers under President Paul Kagame’s Girinka programme where struggling to sell their milk.
Blessing Fortune Kwomo, 20, Nigeria – Healthcare solution for low-income families
Nursing student Blessing Fortune Kwomo was just 19 when she started De Rehoboths Therapeutic Studio – a holistic healthcare solution for low income families in Port Harcourt.
Karidas Tshintsholo, 20, South Africa – A clothing brand making a difference
Karidas Tshintsholo is the co-founder of Push Ismokol Clothing, a textile company that makes and sells clothes such as T-shirts, caps, trousers and sweaters under its own brand.
Fabrice Alomo, 22, Cameroon – Empowering local merchants
Fabrice Alomo is the co-founder of MyAConnect, a web platform launched in 2013. It aims to ease trade in Africa by bringing small businesses online and allowing them to easily sell their offering to consumers using innovative payment methods that address African realities.
Hidaya Ibrahim, 22, Ethiopia – Improving the local education system
Hidaya Ibrahim co-founded the Qine Association for Promoting Education Quality (QAPEQ) in 2013. The initiative organises forums that bring together representatives of government, private education institutions, and students to inform policy makers of student needs and discuss innovative solutions to problems.
Chris Kwekowe, 22, Nigeria – E-learning and skills development
Nigerian Chris Kwekowe is the passionate entrepreneur behind Slatecube, an innovative e-learning platform he launched in 2014. The tech start-up enables users to study at their convenience via both free and paid-for online courses, build technology products and connect with opportunities to put their new skills to use.
George Mtemahanji, 22, Tanzania – Lighting up rural areas with solar energy
Born in Ifakara, a small rural town of Tanzania’s Kilombero District, George Mtemahanji managed to get an education in Italy after his mother moved to the country for work in 2003. In 2012 he graduated as a technician in renewable energy and decided he wanted to use his skills to open a business in his home town in Tanzania.
After much planning, he and a classmate co-founded SunSweet Solar, a photovoltaic company that imports solar energy solutions and materials from Europe.
Mabel Suglo, 21, Ghana – Manufacturing shoes from discarded tyres
Ghanaian social entrepreneur Mabel Suglo is passionate about poverty alleviation. She is the co-founder of the Eco-Shoes Project, an initiative that assists artisans with disabilities to create marketable shoes from used tyres and recycled cloth.
Vanessa Zommi, 19, Cameroon – Processing tea to treat diabetes
In 2013, when she was just 17, Vanessa Zommi started Emerald Moringa Tea in Molyko, a company that processes moringa plant into a healthy tea that can be used to treat diabetes.
Farai Munjoma, 18, Zimbabwe – Accessing courseware content, past exams and career guidance
Farai Munjoma believes that lack of information is one barrier to social development. In 2014, he co-founded Shasha Iseminar, an education platform that offers Zimbabwean high school students an online library of course and study notes, past exam papers as well as career guidance.
Sirjeff Dennis, 21, Tanzania – community development through poultry farming
Sirjeff Dennis is passionate about helping his community eradicate the tragedies of hunger and malnutrition that increase mortality rates. In 2013 he founded Jefren Agrifriend Solutions (JAS), a business venture that primarily deals with poultry and vegetable farming, as well as the packaging and sale of organic fertilisers.
The project has not only improved family nutrition and provided a stable source of income, but has also contributed to overall food security within his community.