The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE) recognizes and awards exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and demonstrate business excellence, innovation, and profitability.
AAE was established in 2007 to recognize business leaders who demonstrate innovation, profitability, and business excellence while serving as role models to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since its inception, AAE has attracted more than 7,000 applications from outstanding African businesses and awarded prizes of over USD 1.6 million to 30 leading African companies.
The AAE’s objectives are to:
- Create a platform to spotlight and celebrate business excellence in Africa,
- Build a strong network of African entrepreneurs as role models and a source of best practice,
- Promote entrepreneurship as a driving force for Africa’s prosperity,
- Encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship,
- Attract venture capital inflows towards good businesses across the continent.
The 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is open to Africa-based entrepreneurs with firms that are fully registered in the continent and that:
- Have revenues of over USD 150,000 for social entrepreneurs and over USD 500,000 for all other categories;
- Have been profitable for the last two consecutive years;
- Are independent, that is, not a subsidiary of a foreign entity;
- Are free of legal actions.
There are five (5) award categories which recognize entrepreneurs at different stages of the entrepreneurial cycle:
- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Awarded to a senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades and has left an enduring legacy of success in Africa;
- TRANSFORMATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD – Awarded to a leading business with revenues greater than USD 50 million that has created significant socio-economic impact in Africa under the direction of a notable business leader;
- OUTSTANDING MATURE BUSINESS AWARD – A USD 100,000 prize to an established company led by a strong business leader who has generated revenues between USD 5 million and USD 50 million;
- OUTSTANDING GROWING BUSINESS AWARD – A USD 50,000 prize to a young remarkable African business with revenues between USD 500,000 and USD 5 million;
- OUTSTANDING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD – A USD 50,000 prize awarded to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship while sustainably addressing the socioeconomic development of low-income communities in Africa. To be eligible, the organization, which may be structured as a non-profit or for-profit must: have been founded or be currently run by an African citizen; demonstrate annual revenues of between USD 150,000 and USD 2.5 million in the last financial year; and be primarily focused on social return.
Nominees will be selected through a rigorous and transparent selection process. A vetting team of business analysts, auditors, market and sector experts will review and shortlist the most outstanding nominations across each of the five categories, considering the entrepreneur’s story as well as key performance indicators of business excellence.
The Finalists are judged by an international panel of leading business experts through interviews and comprehensive reviews of company reports based on the following criteria:
- Sustainability and innovation
- Profitability and growth
- Long-term business strategy
- Leadership, culture and values
- Investment in employees
- Social and economic impact on communities
No financial data on the selected companies will be divulged without the companies’ consent. The decisions of AAE with respect to all aspects of the selection process are final and binding on all applicants without the right to appeal.
The 2014 Awards gala will be held in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2014 during the African Leadership Network’s fifth annual gathering.
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