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Applications have opened for the African Rethink Awards

My African StartUp is now accepting applications for The African Rethink Awards. The award is aimed at developing African entrepreneurs to become experts and gain international recognition.

100 shortlisted startups will be invited to Paris for the African Rethink Awards where they will pitch to an audience of political and economic decision-makers and stakeholders from all around the world.

The event, hosted by French think-tank Planetworkshops, is part of a nine day event dedicated to African economies and tagged the Land of African Business (LAB).

The Land of African Business event will hold from the 2nd to the 11th of December 2015 and will conclude with the granting of 3 awards to three startups selected from a pool of 100 startups invited to present the vision behind their enterprises. The award categories are Grand Prize, Diaspora Award and Award for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

€10,000 goes to the grand prize winner and €5,000 each goes to the Diaspora Award winner and the winner of the Award for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

Applications for the African Rethink Awards is open to any startup founded by an African in Africa or Diaspora that is focused on solving problems – either social, environmental, economic or any other problems Africans have to deal with.

The deadline for applications is 10th October, 2015.

Muzinda Hub launches business plan competition

Zimbabwean incubator Muzinda Hub has launched its inaugural business plan competition, asking entrepreneurs with web or app based product ideas to apply for the chance to have their solutions developed.

Through the business plan competition, Muzinda Hub is targeting entrepreneurs with outstanding ideas which are at the concept or prototype stage.

10 shortlisted applicants will be selected to pitch to a panel of judges during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, with five of the competitors to have their products developed by Muzinda Hub; while Johannesburg-based Ubuntu Equity will provide business support.

According to manager of Muzinda Hub Tendai Mashingaidze, the cost of development is often what hinders entrepreneurs in launching their products to market, and is an area in which the software development oriented incubator hub can be of impact.

“Development costs are arguably the biggest cost for tech startups on the continent and we believe that this is the space where Muzinda can add value, by providing pro-bono development hours as in this case with our annual business plan competition, and also affordable development costs to the startup community,” Mashingaidze says.

“We felt it important that the final pitches are done within the Global Entrepreneurship Week in order to cement the importance of development houses such as ours to support tech entrepreneurship on the continent.”

Ideas submitted must be at the concept or very early prototyping stage, must display a clear profit objective, and scalability of the business on the continent.

Submissions are open until October 30 October, and can be made online here.