Leading Nigerian entertainment conglomerate Chocolate City Group, which is the parent company to Chocolate City Music, Chocolate City Media and Chocolate City Distribution has made the shortlist of 10 companies selected from around Africa for the prestigious Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship 2011.
Legatum, a private international investment group and Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm announced the selection of the 10 companies as finalists of the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship last week. All companies selected must have a minimum annual turnover of $1 Million dollars and a maximum of $10 Million dollars for at least 3 years consecutively. .
A record 3,300 companies from 48 African countries submitted entries to compete for the Grand Prize of US $100,000 and six other prizes of US $50,000 each, including the Coca-Cola Prize for an Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur, on December 8th in Nairobi.
The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship recognises and rewards business leaders who embody the entrepreneurial spirit and qualities required to succeed in business and who are the inspirational role models for the next generation of African entrepreneurs. “The Africa Awards celebrate business excellence within Africa, helping to build a strong network of African entrepreneurs, and our 10 finalists demonstrate the breadth and depth of entrepreneurial talent across the continent today,” said Alan McCormick, Managing Director of Legatum. “Such diversity shows that Africa’s outstanding business leaders are not constrained by geography, gender or ambition.”
The finalists of the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship are:
- soleRebels, Ethiopia
- Unique Solutions, Gambia
- InvesteQ, Kenya
- Expand Technology, Mauritius
- Chocolate City Group, Nigeria
- FASMicro, Nigeria
- Pepperoni Foods, Nigeria
- Cellular Systems International, Senegal
- Victoria Seeds, Uganda – Securico, Zimbabwe
Chocolate City is the only entertainment company that made the top ten shortlist placing the company as one of the biggest entertainment brands in Africa.
The finalists will make formal presentations to an international jury of business leaders chaired by Malik Fal, Managing Director of Endeavor. The jury will also include some of Africa’s most prominent entrepreneurs and investors, amongst whom are Kamal Budhabhatti, Grand Prize Winner of the 2010
Africa Awards; James Manyika, Director of the McKinsey Global Institute and Ayisi Makitiani, the CEO of Fanisi Capital.
“Omidyar Network and Legatum share the belief that entrepreneurship is a driving force for positive social impact in Africa,” said Matt Bannick, Managing Partner of Omidyar Network. “The caliber, talent and diversity of the final ten reflect the tremendous potential for business leaders to innovate, inspire, and create change from within the continent.”
The finalists will be judged based on company profitability, return on investment and growth; long-term business strategy; leadership, culture and values; investment in their employees; innovation to address market needs; and contribution to the community. The Gala Awards ceremony will conclude by honouring the ten finalists and winners in the presence of an international audience of leading business people, investors, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.
A high-profile one-day conference for entrepreneurs and investors will precede the Africa Awards Gala Banquet. Convergence Africa will be headlined by globally-renowned champions of entrepreneurship Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group; Tony O. Elumelu MFR, former Group CEO of United Bank for Africa, and Chairman of Heirs Holdings Group; and Fred Swaniker, Founder of the African Leadership Academy.
Chocolate City was founded in 2005 and has recorded major milestones through its subsidiary Chocolate City Music which is home to multi award winning stars like M.I, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Brymo, Dj Caise among others. Chocolate City Music recently won Record label of the Year at the City People Awards 2011, while its founder/CEO Audu Maikori recently won the “Entertainment Executive of the Year” award at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) ceremony which was held in New York in September 2011. Other awards include the global award for the International Young Music Entrepreneurship award (IYMEY) in 2007 by the British Council.