The top 12 finalists for the 2014 Anzisha Prize have been announced. The competition recognizes and celebrates African entrepreneurs between the age of 15 and 22 who are using business to solve problems in their communities.
–. Please read about three of these twelve extraordinary young entrepreneurs, who aim to make our world a bit better each day.
1. Sam Kodo, 22, from Togo is developing low-cost computers
Togolese Sam Kodo is the founder of LC-COM (Low-Cost Computer)/Infinite Loop, a company that produces low-cost personal computers for students. The miniature computers can fit into a pocket and plug into TVs or touch screens to turn it into an internet enabled desktop PC. They are sold for a fraction of the price of other PCs in the market, and cost about half the amount to produce. The company employs six people and has sold 45 computers in Togo since February.
Kodo created his first robot at the age of eight, and by 19 he caught the attention of the international media for his robots, which could interact with humans, recognise faces and objects, speak, execute orders and even play football! A few years ago Kodo also created his first Smartphone.
2. Jeffrey Mulaudzi, 22, from South Africa is conducting lifestyle tours in a Johannesburg township
During the height of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 18-year-old Jeffrey Mulaudzi saw an opportunity to provide bicycle tours of Alexandra, a Johannesburg township, the place where he was born and raised. He founded Mulaudzi Bicycle Tours, a lifestyle tour of Alexandra that also engages members of the community by telling their stories and enveloping them into the business.
Many of his customers are tourists who want to experience township life, and Mulaudzi says his tours immediately create business for other entrepreneurs in the community.
Today his tours are growing in popularity, and TripAdvisor currently ranks them in the top five activities in Johannesburg.
3. Benedict Mundele, 20, from the DRC is promoting healthy eating with tropical food business
Benedict Mundele is the owner of Surprise Tropicale, an organic local produce canteen to promote a healthy lifestyle in her community in Kinshasa. The idea came to her when she was 16 and in high school, and she started by offering breakfasts to members of the Kuvuna Foundation, a youth skills empowerment and leadership organisation.
Today, Surprise Tropicale is growing, and Mundele has plans to start processing her food products and supplying the local supermarkets.
Mundele has also been named one of the promising young World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shapers and was selected to attend the WEF on Africa, held in Nigeria, this year.
If one of these three candidates will be among the top three winners of the Anzisha Price will be announced on 23 September. Each of the winners will get a share of the US$75,000 prize money. Read about all 12 candidates on How We Made It In Africa.