Meet the African entrepreneurs whose transitions into entrepreneurship are inspirational pathways for future entrepreneurs.
The Anzisha Prize, a partnership with African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, is celebrating inspirational entrepreneurship journeys as part of the new Hall of Fame list.
Zambian entrepreneur Mutoba Ngoma has been inducted as one of ten African entrepreneurs in the Anzisha Prize Hall Fame that highlights successful transitions into entrepreneurship before the age of 25.
The Hall of Fame features a diverse group of five female and five male entrepreneurs whose transitions from high school or university into entrepreneurship demonstrates the importance of starting early to shape entrepreneurial careers.
The Hall of Fame honorees are entrepreneurs from various industries and represent six African countries, which include South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon and Egypt.
Their stories of success and triumphs are a source of inspiration and point of reference for young Africans.
ALSO READ: Bancor community currencies to fight poverty
Over the last decade, The Anzisha Prize has celebrated young entrepreneurs and believes that successful transitions from school to entrepreneurship are under-invested.
The names on this list exemplify the Anzisha Prize’s longstanding belief that more young people should choose entrepreneurship to help lessen youth unemployment on the continent.
While not everyone can be an entrepreneur, but those who are interested should be encouraged and supported in their pursuit.
“As the youth unemployment rate increases and young people battle to find gainful employment, we want to ignite conversations about the support needed for young people to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice. Educators, parents, investors and policymakers have the power to influence the decisions of young people to see entrepreneurship as an option,” says Melissa Mbazo – Ekpenyong, Deputy Director at Anzisha Prize.
Mutoba Ngoma’s entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 21 and, by the age of 25, he had launched Tapera Industries.
Tapera Industries started as a pilot project to investigate the viability of the business of biodiesel production in Zambia.
“My hobby eventually morphed into something that could create jobs and support industries,” he says.
Joining Mutoba Ngoma are other notable entrepreneurs like Njeri Rionge, Rapelang Rabana and Musa Kalenga. Their collective stories of transition into entrepreneurship highlight what it means to deviate from traditional career pathways.
“Our intention is to showcase ten African entrepreneurs each year whose journeys show the transition into entrepreneurship. We are not only looking to offer a glamourized entrepreneurial pathway but, rather, one that is made up of challenges and successes to paint a fuller picture of what it truly means and takes to be an entrepreneur on the continent,” comments Didi Onwu, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Associate, who worked on creating the list.
While arguments for young people to follow traditional career pathways have created a singular understanding of success, entrepreneurship provides a counter perspective that demonstrates success can be achieved at an early age.
2020 Hall of Fame:
Jessy Bityeki followed the traditional path of going to University and finding a job in a corporate company. But at the age of 24, she decided that starting her business was more interesting.
At the age of 21, after graduating from University, Mutoba Ngoma took a leap of faith by becoming an entrepreneur. Inspired by a documentary, he was able to delve into the energy sector and build Tapera industries.
From support to monetary investment, Temitope’s entrepreneurial ideas were championed by family first, making his transition from University into entrepreneurship a familial effort.
Njeri Rionge’s primary school days were spent selling vegetables in one of Nairobi’s busiest markets. What entrepreneurial skills did she master to make her the serial entrepreneur that she is today?
After graduating from high school, Wandile Zondo ventured into the world of entrepreneurship. With a vision to revolutionalise township streetwear, he built Thesis Lifestyle.
In her final year of University, Rapelang Rabana had a taste of the entrepreneurial world by starting a business with friends. Interestingly, this wasn’t her first time starting a business, as she had already been questioning the conventional pathway of getting a job.
While most students were focused on getting good grades in University, Musa and his friends were trying to develop ideas that would make them self-proclaimed bosses. How did a boisterous University student catalyse on his love for business at the age of 20?
South African entrepreneur Baratang Miya began experimenting with entrepreneurship at the age of 14. Many years later, she’s inspiring young women and girls to see tech in a different light.
As a primary school student, Nthuthuko Shezi was already an entrepreneur and by the age of 21 had launched his first business. Now on business number 14 and counting, this serial entrepreneur shares how starting early can lead to multiple successes.
Dina el Mofty
After graduating from University at the age of 24, Egyptian entrepreneur Dina el Mofty was on a mission to do something impactful. For this reason, she started her own business, Injaz Egypt.