The Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion was established by the of The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation to unearth, inspire and celebrate Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that help advance financial inclusion.
The top prize awards Africa’s most promising early-stage start-up that is solving a major financial inclusion challenge in the most innovative way.
This year’s competition is supported by the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge, a $1M competition from the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and by the MIT Legatum Center’s annual Open Mic Africa tour, a cross-continent tour in search of Africa’s most innovative entrepreneurs. There is up to $200,000 in prizes to be won!
The Grand prize winner will walk away with $100,000 as well as fast tracked to MITs $1 million Inclusive Innovation Challenge. Two (2) runners-up will walk away with $30,000 as well as fast tracked to MITs $1 million Inclusive Innovation Challenge
The top 10 finalists will also walk away with$5,000 in cash prizes as well as VIP tickets to the Zambezi Award ceremony, cohort-building activities, international media exposure, and personalized introductions to the MIT Legatum network of investors and mentors.
In addition, the top three winners will also be invited to attend the Zambezi boot camp during the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) gala on the MIT campus in Boston and fast-tracked to the global grand prize with up to $1 million available.
The IIC event is part of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and, along with the MIT Legatum Center’s initiatives, examples of MIT’s global commitment to the future of work.
This year’s competition will be supported by the MIT Legatum Center’s annual Open Mic Africa tour, a cross-continent tour in search of Africa’s most innovative entrepreneurs that will debut in Spring 2018.
The Legatum Center, with support from Techpreneur Africa and the late Bolaji Finnih, hosted the premiere event of the 2017 Open Mic Africa tour in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Zambezi Prize and the Open Mic Africa tour are pillars of the Legatum Center’s Africa Strategy – a global vision to leverage MIT’s ecosystem to improve lives through principled entrepreneurial leadership. The Legatum Center’s Africa strategy is also a core component of MIT-Africa – the initiative that encompasses the Institute’s global priority for collaboration with the continent.
The application deadline is June 1 2018.To apply for the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion 2018 click here.