The African Leadership Network (ALN), Africa’s premier community of dynamic and influential new generation leaders, today announced the launch of the 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. The most prestigious business and entrepreneurship awards on the continent, the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship recognise and award business leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and who demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability.
In its eighth year since inception, the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship have attracted more than 7,000 applications from African businesses and awarded prizes of over USD 1.6 million to 30 leading entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the launch of the 2014 Awards, ALN CEO Isaac Fokuo said: We are very excited to launch the 2014 Awards process as we aim to identify and honour the most outstanding entrepreneurs that are driving social and economic change throughout the continent. Last year’s competition produced exceptional winners with unique businesses and inspiring stories, and we intend to build off this momentum to identify equally compelling and dynamic candidates this year. Nominations for leading African businesses are welcome.
We are very grateful to our anchor partner, Omidyar Network, as well as our other partners, whose support allows ALN to remain focused on creating a thriving entrepreneurial environment in Africa, which drives prosperity on the continent and provides confidence and inspiration to the next generation of Africans.
The 2013 Awards process considered candidates from 46 African countries and key industry sectors on the continent, yielding an encouraging group of finalists from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and The Gambia. The inspiring 2013 winners demonstrate the innovative and varied opportunities throughout Africa and serve as best practices for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to catalyse growth, create jobs, build wealth, and transform lives.
The 2014 Awards are sponsored for the sixth consecutive year by Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives.
Omidyar Network Africa Managing Director, Malik Fal, commented on the launch: We are honoured to continue our support of the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. At midyar Network, we believe in the power of the individual and the idea that when given opportunity every person can make a difference and drive tremendous positive change in society. These Awards celebrate some of the most innovative and impactful entrepreneurs in Africa who are at the forefront of the continent’s social and economic transformation.
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship serve as a vital platform to strengthen Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystems and highlight the successes of outstanding African entrepreneurs.
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship are open to companies that are domiciled in Africa, that are not subsidiaries of larger organisations, and that have been profitable for at least two years. There are five Award categories which recognise entrepreneurs at different stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle:
● LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Awarded to a senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades and has left an enduring legacy of success in Africa;
● TRANSFORMATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD – Citation and trophy awarded to a leading business with revenues greater than USD 50 million that has created significant socio-economic impact in Africa under the direction of a notable business leader;
● OUTSTANDING MATURE BUSINESS AWARD – USD 100,000 prize to an established company led by a strong business leader who has generated revenues between USD 5 million and USD 50 million;
● OUTSTANDING GROWING BUSINESS – USD 50,000 prize to a young, remarkable African business with revenues between USD 500,000 and USD 5 million; and
● OUTSTANDING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD – USD 50,000 prize awarded to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship while sustainably addressing the socioeconomic development of low-income communities in Africa. To be eligible, the organisation, which may be structured as non-profit or for-profit, must: have been founded or be currently run by an African citizen; demonstrate annual revenues between USD 150,000 and USD 2.5 million in the last financial year; and be primarily focused on social return.
The 2014 Awards ceremony will be held in Kigali, Rwanda in November during the 2014 Annual Gathering, ALN’s flagship event and yearly convention, which brings together ALN members, entrepreneurs, investors, policy-makers, and government leaders.
FACT SHEET: AFRICA AWARDS FOR ENTREPRENEUSHIP
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE) recognize and award exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who serve as role models to Africa's aspiring entrepreneurs and demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability.
AAE was established in 2007 to recognize business leaders who demonstrate innovation, profitability and business excellence while serving as role models to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since its inception, AAE has attracted more than 7,000 applications from outstanding African businesses and awarded prizes of over USD 1.6 million to 30 leading African companies. The AAE’s objectives are to:
• Create a platform to spotlight and celebrate business excellence in Africa
• Build a strong network of African entrepreneurs as role models and a source of best practice
• Promote entrepreneurship as a driving force for Africa’s prosperity
• Encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship
• Attract venture capital inflows towards good businesses across the continent
The 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs with firms that are fully registered in the continent and that:
• Have revenues of over USD 150,000 for social entrepreneurs and over USD 500,000 for all other categories;
• Have been profitable for the last two consecutive years;
• Are independent, that is, not a subsidiary of a foreign entity; and
• Are free of legal actions.
Nominees will be selected through a rigorous and transparent selection process. A vetting team of business analysts, auditors and market and sector experts will review and shortlist the most outstanding nominations across each of the five categories, considering the entrepreneur’s story as well as key performance indicators of business excellence.
The Finalists are judged by an international panel of leading business experts through interviews and comprehensive reviews of company reports based on the following criteria:
• Sustainability and innovation
• Profitability and growth
• Long-term business strategy
• Leadership, culture and values
• Investment in employees
• Social and economic impact on communities
No financial data on the selected companies will be divulged without the companies’ consent. The decisions of AAE with respect to all aspects of the selection process are final and binding on all applicants without the right to appeal.
• The anchor partner for the AAE is Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunities for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organisation invests in and helps scale innovative organisations to catalyse economic and social change. As of February 2014, Omidyar Network has committed more than $676 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organisations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency and Property Rights.
To learn more, visit http://www.omidyar.com/.
• Part of the ELMA Group of Foundations, the ELMA Growth Foundation invests exclusively in Africa in the growth or expansion of initiatives focused on the economic and social development of low-income individuals, families and communities.