BMCE Bank of Africa announced the winners of the second edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award, which allocates $1 million to startups annually. The award ceremony, chaired by President Othman Benjelloun, was held on Monday December 5th to compensate the most significant and sustainable businesses in the award’s three categories: education, environment and uncharted. This event marks “a fundamental turning point for African Entrepreneurship”.
Among the 11 winners selected by a presidential jury, 2 Nigerians Abideen Adelu (founder of Prepa) and Murtala Sanni (founder of Wesabi) were selected in the education category and pioneer award respectively.
Prepa – Prepa is a cross-platform mobile app that prepares students for standardized exams with unlimited test questions and a network of resources. It was invented to propel students above secondary education systems that leave students ill-prepared for exams. With Prepa, Abideen says students “can easily clear their doubts or difficulties on various subjects” and be well-prepared for important tests. Abideen plans to scale Prepa as an adaptive, individualized education content for students who cannot afford expensive, private tutoring. Still in the startup stages, Prepa will use the African Entrepreneurship Award to scale into dynamic test prep software and reach 50,000 students in 2017, improving their lives by ensuring their education continues.
Wesabi – Wesabi, or “we know” in Nigerian slang, is a mobile payment platform that bridges the trust gap between services and markets with a 24/7 call center and a seamless mobile payment method, simplifying the hiring process of skilled artisans and craftsmen. The platform allows users to give recommendations and rate craftsmen. The Wesabi experience is not just for the customer. Craftsmen receive certified training through Wesabi, a reality that Murtala says can “make learning vocational skill more attractive and in turn reduce the unemployment in society.” Winning the African Entrepreneurship Award increases Murtala’s ability to hire more freelance craftsmen, and thus increase his impact. With targeted advertising, Wesabi wants to create a platform for at least a million jobs in the next three years, employing at least 200,000 more skilled craftsmen.