MIT and Mastercard Foundation launch 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation

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The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, today, 12 March 2018, announced the launch of the 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion.

The competition, awarding a total of $200 000 in prizes, was established to discover Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that promote and advance financial inclusion on the continent.

The grand prize winner will be awarded $100 000 and the two runners-up will each receive up to $30 000. The top 10 finalists will each receive up to $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.

Past Zambezi finalists have led projects ranging from agricultural finance for the small dairy farmer to an employee-centric boda boda taxi business model.

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 Zambezi application is now open for early-stage African tech start-ups who are furthering financial inclusion in Africa.

Applicants will be judged on their ability to solve one of the financial inclusion challenges put forth by the Prize; their current and potential impact on the local ecosystem; the scale of their innovation; and the feasibility of the solution. 

The Zambezi application closes in June 2018.

Potential applicants can find more information and apply at www.zambezi.mit.edu

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Zweli Sikhakhane is a Web Developer, Digital Marketing Manager and Contributor at BizNis Africa. Sikhakhane began his Digital career at AVATAR Agency, them moved to Maverick Minds, a digital agency based in Johannesburg CBD. Sikhakhane moved to Red Quarter, a digital marketing and events agency Sikhakhane is a highly motivated and enthusiastic professional and a team player who would like to grow grow in the digital industry.

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