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Innovative? Profitable? Value-Driven? Apply for the 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship

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Are you a high performing African entrepreneur with a track record of business excellence and high social impact? Do you share our core belief that business is development and that entrepreneurship is the key to Africa’s economic resurgence? Do you see yourself as an icon of entrepreneurial success in Africa? If so, then this year’s African Awards for Entrepreneurship may bear your name!

The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE), indubitably ‘the Oscars’ of business and entrepreneurship in Africa, is pleased to announce the 2012 Awards Programme. African Leadership Network (ALN), the premier network of Africa’s new generation of leaders, is pleased to partner with Legatum Group, a leading Private Equity firm and previous hosts, to bring you the Awards this year. As in previous years, the programme will recognize and award exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and who demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability.

Since inception in 2007, AAE has attracted more than 7,000 applications from leading African businesses and has given out prizes in excess of US$ 1.4 million to 25 leading companies. Aside from the generous prize money, the incredibly high beam of spotlight provided by the Awards, as well as the unrivalled access to a network of top entrepreneurs and funding resources, has spurred previous winners unto even more glorious heights in their respective industries.

Unlike in past years when the AAE was limited to only enterprises with revenues from US$ 1M to US$ 15M, this year, entrepreneurs with a range of business sizes from as small as US$ 500k to as much as US$ 50M or more in revenue may apply for the Awards. Please download the 2012 application form in either English or French and send in your completed entry to [email protected]The deadline for entries is 31 August 2012. AAE 2012 especially welcomes women entrepreneurs to apply.

The members of the judging panel, whose profiles are attached, are:

Ahmed Heikal, Founder and Chairman, Citadel Capital – Egypt
Chris Kirubi, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor – Kenya
Divine Ndhlukula, Founder & CEO, Securico & Grand Prize Winner, AAE 2011 – Zimbabwe
Adedotun Sulaiman, Founder & Chairman, Arian Capital Management – Nigeria
Yvonne Ike, CEO, West Africa, Renaissance Group – Nigeria

The awards were previously owned and coordinated by the Legatum Group and are this year being managed by the African Leadership Network. The Awards Gala Ceremony will be held on 11 October 2012, in Accra, Ghana at the African Leadership Network’s flagship yearly event, the ALN Annual Gathering.

The awards will have four categories:

Lifetime Achievement Award to be bestowed on a remarkable senior and iconic African business leader that has left an enduring legacy of decades of entrepreneurial success in Africa.
Transformational Business Award to be awarded to an outstanding African entrepreneur who has built a company with revenues greater than USD 50 million.
Outstanding Mature Business Award for a remarkable African entrepreneur with a business that has made revenues between USD 5 million – USD 50 million.
•Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award to be given to a stellar African entrepreneur with a business that has revenues between USD 500,000 and USD 5 million.

Commenting on future plans of the awards, Fred Swaniker adds:

“With the African Leadership Network stewardship, the awards will serve as a focal point for recognising and rallying the next generation of entrepreneurs in Africa. In its sixth year now, it is essential to see more African women entrepreneurs recognised for their achievements and I encourage people to nominate outstanding women entrepreneurs for the Awards.

What makes an AAE winner?

The Africa Awards will be judged by an international panel of leading business experts, employing a rigorous and transparent selection process. Winning companies will be selected based on their ability to operate truly sustainable and innovative businesses, and will demonstrate excellence in:

  • Overall profitability, return on investment and growth
  • Long-term business strategy
  • Leadership, culture and values
  • Investment in employees
  • Innovating to address a market need
  • Making a contribution to the community

Who is Eligible?

Entry is open to all Africa-based entrepreneurs with firms that:

  • Have revenues over US$ 500, 000
  • Have been profitable for at least two years
  • Are independent (not a subsidiary of a larger organization)
  • Have employed a significant number of people
  • Are fully registered in their home country and free of legal actions.

The competition for the Awards opened 5 weeks ago and runs until 31 August 2012.

For more information on the awards program, visit