A Southern Girl in South Africa

A Southern Girl in South Africa

The Chronicles of a Southern Girl's Adventures of Living, Loving, Learning, and Traveling in Africa

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Meet The Most Amazing Young Entrepreneurs in Africa!

February 10, 2013 , , , , , , , , , ,

Andrew Mupuya, winner of the 2012 Anzisha Prize and me

Andrew Mupuya, winner of the 2012 Anzisha Prize and me

Every now and again, I get an opportunity to meet people who truly inspire me.  These rare people inspire me not only because of what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short span of time but also because of how they haven’t allowed any circumstances to stop them from realizing their visions.  The latest sources of inspiration for me are the 2012 Anzisha Prize Winners.  The Anzisha Prize is the premier award for African leaders aged 15-20 who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities.  I was honored to have been in attendance at the dinner where the winner was crowned.  Finalists from all over Africa travel to South Africa for a weeklong entrepreneurial conference and are collectively awarded $75,000 in cash prizes, as well as access to lifelong mentorship that can be provided by Anzisha Prize’s vast network of individual partners, organizations, and youth leaders.

The finalists are judged on: 1) Impact: applicant’s efforts have a demonstrated, measurable and positive outcome. 2) Ingenuity: applicant takes a new and better approach to a pressing problem in his or her community. 3) Scalability: applicant’s solution has the potential to be replicated in communities facing similar challenges. Even though all of the finalists were a-m-a-z-i-n-g, there was 1 winner, Andrew Mupuya.  Andrew ,20, is from Uganda and he is the founder of YELI, a paper bag production company that produces custom solutions for local hospitals and vendors and employs 14 persons, the oldest of whom is 53.  (source: http://www.anzisha.org).

This young man was not only meeting a critical need in his community but he was also employing other people as well!  Listening to his story and the other finalists’ stories made me wonder what have I been doing all my life!  🙂  All of these young people come from humble beginnings and they reminded me that all things are possible and that it’s important to use what you have/do what you can instead of worrying about what you don’t have/can’t do.   It’s also important to have people around that continue to provide fresh inspiration and push you to the next level.  So who has inspired you lately?

If you want to read more about the other amazing finalists and what they’re doing in their communities, please check them out at http://pt.africanleadershipacademy.org/news/2012-anzisha-prize-finalists-announced.  I know you’ll be just as inspired by them as I was.

This is an annual prize and applications for 2013 are due on April 1 so please spread the word and go to http://www.anzisha.org for more information!

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Amazing and inspirational. At 57 I’m still hoping to do something that will be impactful, ingenious, and scalable!
Congratulations to each of the entrants, the finalists, and especially to Mr. Mupuya! And to you, my dear, for hitting all three targets already!

Debra Stokes (@WomanofWisdom)

February 10, 2013

Thanks Debra! You inspire me by being a Proverbs 31 woman and an entrepreneur! Love you!


February 10, 2013

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