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21-year old Founder of Sollys Energy emerges among winners of Anzisha Prize Fellowship

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21-year old Founder of Sollys Energy emerges among winners of Anzisha Prize Fellowship

The Anzisha Prize has revealed its top 26 entrepreneurs selected for 2021. The entrepreneurs, who are between the ages of 18 and 22, will each receive more than US$5,000 in funding and more than US$15,000 worth of venture building support services over three years.

This arrangement is in line with the prestigious fellowship’s new structure of enabling young people to receive the financial and mentoring support they need to succeed.

Josh Adler, Executive Director of the Anzisha Prize, said, “We’ve seen clearly that a transition from secondary or tertiary education directly into sustainable entrepreneurship requires both financial and learning support,” comments 

“Through our long-term partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we’re thrilled to not only announce an increase in the number of fellowships we can offer each year but also in the monetary support each venture will receive.”

The 2021 Anzisha Fellows were selected from hundreds of applications across Africa and passed multiple stages of vetting and evaluation. Applicants were from countries such as Malawi, Togo, South Africa, and Madagascar and running businesses in education, health, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and beauty.

These young Africans are demonstrating how it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship as a career in the face of the pandemic.

Meet Martin Masiya, Founder of Sollys Energy and winner of the 2021 Anzisha Prize

Born in Malawi, Martin is the founder of Sollys Energy which distributes solar lamps and solar lanterns using a Pay-As-You-Go model for customers in semi-urban and rural areas.

The 21-year old entrepreneur and youth leader is passionate about developing his country and creating jobs. His passion for the environment and sustainable development was sparked after his first volunteer experience, when he was 15, for a local waste management charity.

During this experience, he helped the charity establish local women-led waste recycling clubs and vegetable gardens. This would inspire him to start his own business in the future.

Transition into Entrepreneurship

When Martin started college in 2015, his interest in entrepreneurship grew and he started a media business. He started with photography but later offered videography and graphic design services. The various businesses that Martin ran in college grew his passion for entrepreneurship.

In August 2020, he launched Sollys Energy which distributes solar lamps and solar lanterns using a Pay-As-You-Go model for customers in semi-urban and rural areas.

What Sollys Energy does

Sollys Energy is solving the energy problem in Malawi by making quality solar products affordable and accessible to households and businesses in low-income areas. It provides solar lamps and solar home systems using flexible Pay-As-You-Go payment plans to customers residing in the semi-urban and rural areas of Malawi.

The startup distributes solar products through a network of local sales agents. Agents are responsible for giving in-person demonstrations to potential customers, making sales, and engaging in marketing campaigns.

Martin’s goal is to make solar products affordable and accessible while creating jobs and income for his fellow youth.


Featured Image: Martin Masiya, Founder of Sollys Energy

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