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Anzisha Prize Invites SA’s Green Entrepreneurs To Apply For Funding 

The Anzisha Prize, the biggest award on the continent for very young entrepreneurs aged 15 to 22, has just announced the opening of applications for its upcoming funding cycle. This time, the focus is on green entrepreneurs who combines innovation and sustainability, and are passionate about making a positive impact on the environment.

A green entrepreneur is an individual who identifies and develops business opportunities that address environmental challenges their communities face while also generating financial profits. They are driven by a passion for sustainability and a commitment to creating a positive impact. The category also covers a broad range of sectors, including but not limited to, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, waste management, food upcycling, and eco-friendly product development.

“In recent years, the impacts of the climate crisis and environmental destruction have become all too visible to South Africans,” says Didi Onwu, Managing Editor of the Anzisha Prize. “From the floods that ravaged Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2022 to the drought that brought Gqebergha close to its own Day Zero, our impact on the natural world cannot be ignored. At the Anzisha Prize, we’ve always believed that innovative entrepreneurs are key to solving some of the world’s biggest issues, including those concerning climate and the environment.” 

This year, the Anzisha Prize application season is putting a spotlight on the significant impact of entrepreneurship in shaping African societies. With a specific focus on green entrepreneurship, four exceptional applicants will be chosen to join the 2023/24 cohort, which aims to include a total of 29 entrepreneurs. By taking part in the Anzisha Prize, these entrepreneurs not only have the opportunity to win a share of grand cash prizes worth over US$60,000 but also receive valuable practical support for their businesses. 

Among the key qualities the Anzisha Prize is looking for in green entrepreneurs and ventures are: 

  • Environmental awareness: They have a deep understanding of environmental problems and are passionate about finding solutions.
  • Creativity and innovation: They have come up with new and innovative ideas for sustainable products, services, and processes.
  • Social responsibility: They are committed to creating positive social and environmental impact, not just financial gains.

“These businesses are helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, conserve resources, and protect ecosystems,” says Onwu. “They are also creating new jobs and opportunities in the green economy.”

Successful applicants to the multi-year fellowship will have their performance tracked throughout the length of the programme. Businesses that show exemplary growth and initiative are rewarded with benefits and services such as short courses, cloud services and cash stipends. At the end of the second year, entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses and successes for a chance to win their share of prizes to the value of US$60 000. The Grand Prizes are split into four categories:

  • The Job Creation Prize
  • Revenue Growth Prize
  • Storytelling Prize
  • Integrating Systems and Processes Prize

Graduates of the programme will also benefit from being part of the Anzisha Prize’s alumni network, which offers invaluable connections that can be leveraged for further growth.

Applications for the fellowship, which can be found online, close on 30 December, with the new fellows announced in June 2024.