21-year-old South African entrepreneur, Maemu Lambani, have been selected among the fifteen emerging Young African Entrepreneurs for the seventh annual Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for youngest entrepreneurs.
Maemu was listed among the 15 finalists from 800 applicants who applied for the entry – a chunk of the candidates being young women representing sectors as diverse as clean energy, agriculture, waste recycling and youth empowerment.
Maemu is the founder of Fearless Trendz, a digital marketing agency whose aim is to transform growing and local businesses into global brands by using social media.
Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at the Mastercard Foundation said, “the calibre and diversity of the young men and women competing for this year’s Anzisha Prize is impressive and improves each year. As the pool of Anzisha fellows continues to grow, so too does their impact and influence on local communities and economies.”
Anzisha Prize Associate, Melissa Mbazo said, “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.”
Maemu with other applicants will attend a 10-day entrepreneurial leadership boot camp in Johannesburg where they will be coached on how to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for a share of US$100,000 worth of prizes and support.
They will be evaluated by a panel of five experienced judges, including Wendy Luhabe, a pioneering social entrepreneur and economic activist, who have contributed to building youth entrepreneurship in Africa.
Laureates will be announced during an inspiring gala evening on October 24, which will include a keynote address from serial entrepreneur Fred Swaniker, founder of both the African Leadership Academy and African Leadership University.
The grand prize winner will receive US$25,000, while the runners-up and third place winners will receive US$15,000 and US$12,500, respectively. The remainder of the prize will be divided among outstanding finalists, including a $10,000 agricultural prize funded by Louis Dreyfus Foundation, as well as four $5,000 challenge prizes to bolster initiatives led by past Anzisha Prize finalists. All other finalists will each receive $2,500 prizes.
Finalists will also benefit from ALA’s Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U), which provides consulting and training support to Anzisha finalists. This includes the Anzisha Accelerator boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network, and business equipment, valued at US$7,500.