Application Deadline: September 30th 2017
This annual prize supports ventures that contribute to financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa. Finalists participate in an MIT-sponsored boot camp to engage with experts in entrepreneurship.
The Zambezi Prize raises awareness of entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, encourages the flow of capital to financial inclusion ventures, and advances entrepreneurship and financial inclusion to fuel broad-based prosperity.
The Zambezi Prize is presented by the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and The MasterCard Foundation. Collectively, these organizations focus on entrepreneurship and financial inclusion as catalysts for broad-based prosperity in low-income countries—unlocking the potential of ordinary citizens to improve their livelihoods.
The prize is open to a wide spectrum of financial inclusion ventures demonstrating innovation and potential for impact, financial sustainability, and scalability.
- The venture must advance financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The venture must be in its early stages, having progressed beyond concept.
- Ventures could include – but are not limited to – electronic payment systems, customer-centered payment plans, new financial products, or mobile banking instruments.
- The venture must help advance financial inclusion.
- The venture must have a presence in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The venture must have a founder or co-founder that work or plan to work full-time on the venture.
If selected as finalists, ventures must have a founder or co-founder to attend MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston in January 2018
Entrepreneurship Development Program
Finalists participate MIT’s acclaimed Entrepreneurship Development Program to take advantage of MIT’s unparalleled entrepreneurial ecosystem and engage with experts in the fields of entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.
The Zambezi Prize awards $200K USD annually to support ventures that contribute to financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The first place winner receives $100K USD. An additional $100K USD is divided among second and third place winners and a small group of finalists.
September 30, 2017
A selection committee reviews online applications and selects semi-finalists.
ROUND 2 SEMI-FINALS
NOTIFIED: October 15, 2017
SUPPORTING MATERIALS DUE: Nov 1, 2017
Semi-finalists submit supporting application materials. Selection committee members rank semi-finalists and conduct interviews.
ROUND 3 FINALS
NOTIFIED: Nov 15, 2017
FINALIST ANNOUNCEMENT: Dec 1, 2017
All finalists will attend MIT’s acclaimed Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston.
WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Dec 16, 2017
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