Enterprise Television- INFIUSS Wins 2018 Anzisha Awards Grand Prize
An online blood bank and digital supply chain platform, INFIUSS, has bagged the Anzisha Grand Prize, a coveted award delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.
INFIUSS ensures that patients in 23 hospitals in Cameroon have life-saving blood when and where it is needed.
The two organisations announced that 22-year-old healthcare entrepreneur Melissa Bime won the $25,000 Grand Prize at the 8th annual Anzisha Prize awards gala.
Bime, the founder of INFIUSS, is only the second woman to win the grand prize since Best Ayiorworth took it home in 2013.
Bime during her acceptance speech said, “Today, I stand here to represent every young girl out there that just has her dreams.”
She added “I stand here to represent this amazing group of entrepreneurs that I am a part of. With these people, the future of Africa is very bright. We are going to change this continent.”
She was selected from among 20 finalists during a ceremony on 23rd October that was live streamed to over 3,000 viewers and created a social media buzz across the continent.
The first runner up, 18-year-old Alhaji Siraj Bah will receive $15,000 in prize money. He is the founder of Rugsal Trading in Sierra Leone, a company that produces handcrafted paper bags as well as briquettes for cooking fuel.
Alhaji hopes that the funds will boost the impact his business is already having and will enable him to hire more youth from his community.
He said “I had only 20 dollars when I started and I have created an impact already,” said Bah. “With $15,000, I am going to impact 7.5 million Sierra Leonians’ lives in less than five years. It will happen.”
In the second-runner up position was Joan Nalubega, 21. She is the co-founder of Uganics, which produces mosquito-repellent soap to combat malaria in Uganda.
With the $12,500, she will conduct a certification study for the company’s products and prepare Uganics for export to neighboring countries which will help to widen her impact in the fight against malaria.
The event’s keynote speaker, renowned entrepreneur, Sim Shagaya spoke plainly about the challenges faced by the continent but was confident that young entrepreneurs are best placed to solve them.
Program Manager for the Mastercard Foundation, Koffi Assouan said “We are proud of all 20 finalists and are excited to see two young and dynamic women taking home top prizes.”
“Their contributions will continue to impact their countries and they are role models for other young women across the continent. They are demonstrating how to turn obstacles into opportunities that create value and jobs for others.”
The Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation.
The 20 finalists spent 10 days in a business accelerator camp strengthening their business fundamentals before presenting their ventures to a panel of judges that included Ntuthuko Shezi, Bita Diamomande, Saran Kaba Jones, and Polo Leteka.
They join a pool of more than 85 Anzisha Fellows and a network of support that includes access to mentors, experts, and networking. Each returns home with a $2,500.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15th February in 2019 while nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.