South African, Ntuthuko Shezi inducted into Anzisha Prize Hall of Fame as inspirational entrepreneur who started very young

Meet the African entrepreneurs whose transitions into entrepreneurship are inspirational pathways for future entrepreneurs

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 23, 2020/ -- The Anzisha Prize (www.AnzishaPrize.org), a partnership with African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, is celebrating inspirational entrepreneurship journeys as part of the new Hall of Fame list. South African entrepreneur Ntuthuko Shezi has been inducted as one of ten African entrepreneurs in the Anzisha Prize Hall Fame that highlights successful transitions into entrepreneurship before the age of 25.

The Hall of Fame features a diverse group of five female and five male entrepreneurs whose transitions from high school or university into entrepreneurship demonstrates the importance of starting early to shape entrepreneurial careers. The Hall of Fame honorees are entrepreneurs from various industries and represent six African countries, which includes South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, and Egypt. Their stories of success and triumphs are a source of inspiration and point of reference for young Africans.

Over the last decade, The Anzisha Prize has celebrated young entrepreneurs and believes that successful transitions from school to entrepreneurship are under-invested. The names on this list exemplify the Anzisha Prize’s longstanding belief that more young people should choose entrepreneurship to help lessen the youth unemployment found on the continent. While not everyone can be an entrepreneur, but those who are interested should be encouraged and supported in their pursuit.

“As the youth unemployment rate increases and young people battle to find gainful employment, we want to ignite conversations about the support needed for young people to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice. Educators, parents, investors and policymakers have the power to influence the decisions of young people to see entrepreneurship as an option,” says Melissa Mbazo – Ekpenyong, Deputy Director at Anzisha Prize.

At the age of 7, Ntuthuko Shezi already had a taste of the entrepreneurial world by helping his mum sell her baked pastries. By the age of 26, he had already started nine businesses. Currently pursuing his fourteenth business, Ntuthuko Shezi is an example for many young people to start pursuing entrepreneurship as a career choice. “The need to prove that it can be done is what motivates me to keep creating businesses. It’s like the race to the moon. I get to work on original things,” he says.

Joining Ntuthuko Skezi are notable fellow South African entrepreneurs Baratang Miya, Rapelang Rabana and Wandile Zondo. Baratang Miya is known for being the founder of Girl Hype, a non-profit organisation that aims to empower girls and youth in the ICT sector in South Africa. Before she founded Girl Hype in 2003, Baratang’s entrepreneurial journey started in her primary school days and the skills she learnt in her early years set her on a path of success. These entrepreneurs’ stories of starting small and early are highlighting the realities of deviating from traditional pathways to pursue entrepreneurship.

“The Hall of Fame has been a two-pronged approach. Firstly, we wanted to showcase that the pursuit of entrepreneurship is not something that needs to be done when all else has failed. You can and should start now. Secondly, we want to create African points of reference for young people to look up to and feel encouraged that this path of entrepreneurship is a viable choice,” says Didi Onwu, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Associate, who worked on highlighting the entrepreneurs.

While arguments for young people to follow traditional career pathways have created a singular understanding of success, entrepreneurship provides a counter perspective that demonstrates success can be achieved at an early age.

For more content on how these entrepreneurs started early, visit anzisha.org/halloffame for the complete list, feature stories and exclusive videos. Make sure to join the conversation on social media using: #AnzishaHOF and follow @anzishaprize.

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