Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship rewards innovative businesses

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AFRICAN Leadership Network (ALN), a membership community of influential new generation leaders in Africa has rewarded four businesses for continually innovating their businesses under this year’s edition of the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE).

According to a statement made available to The Guardian, the winners emerged from a shortlist of 11 finalists chosen from four categories after a thorough due diligence exercise carried out by professional service firm PwC.

“The awards were inaugurated to reward some of the continent’s most innovative entrepreneurs and this year’s top 11 finalists were narrowed down from a list of more than 500 contestants and represent a broad spectrum of sectors across Africa, including amongst others, beverages, telecoms, IT infrastructure networks and non-governmental organisations”, the statement read.

Specifically, Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Breweries, Kenya, emerged winner of the Transformational Business award category for creating a significant socio-economic impact in Africa by building a business with revenues greater than USD $50 million, followed by Munyaradzi Gwatidzo of Astro Mobile, Zimbabwe, for the Outstanding Mature Business award, for building a company with revenues between USD $5 million and USD $50 million, while Tayo Oviosu of Paga, Nigeria, was declared the winner of the Outstanding Growing Business award which is given to a young remarkable African business with revenues between USD $500,000 and USD $5 million.

Others are Amina Slaoui of Groupe AMH, Morocco, who emerged the winner of the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur award category and winner of a USD $50,000 prize awarded to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship while sustainably addressing the double bottom line.

According to the organizers, Amina Slaoui was rewarded for demonstrating annual revenues of between USD $150,000 and USD $2.5 million in the last financial year, while remaining primarily focused on social returns.

PwC Partner and Coordinator for the PwC/AAE process, PwC, Ayesha Bedwei, said that PwC decided to support the awards because they believe that the road to growth passes through entrepreneurship.

Speaking on the screening process conducted by PwC, she said that the due diligence process focused on the soundness of the business model, financial health, as well as the integrity of the finalists business practices.

She added: “Africa as a continent is a breeding ground for talent and innovation. Companies have to think entrepreneurially in order to survive and strive. The chosen finalists have grown successful multi-faceted businesses which have catapulted them into the African spotlight gaining them continental recognition. The leadership positions that these companies hold inspire many others to emulate their success”.

Regional Senior Partner for PwC West Market Area and a judge at this year’s awards, Uyi Akpata, on his part affirmed that entrepreneurship is a strong driver of wealth creation in Africa which redounds benefits for us all. He added that the Awards highlight the achievements of Africa’s most exceptional entrepreneurs whose business practices have proved pivotal to the economic development of the continent.

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