Legatum, a private international investment group and Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, has announced that SECURICO has won the US$100 000 grand prize of the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. Based in Harare, Zimbabwe, SECURICO provides guarding services and electronic security solutions, and is the first security company in Zimbabwe to be ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) certified. SECURICO has more than 3 400 employees, 900 of which are women, making it the largest employer of women in the private sector. The company exemplifies the vital role played by entrepreneurs in creating economic growth, prosperity, and realising opportunity in Africa.
“It is such an honor for me to be recognised by the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship and included in such a talented, dynamic group of entrepreneurs,” says Divine Ndhlukula, founder and managing director of SECURICO. “I hope that my story of creating SECURICO, and those of my fellow finalists, will help to inspire other African entrepreneurs to seek opportunity, embrace risk, and above all, believe in themselves.”
A record 3 300 companies from 48 African countries submitted entries to compete for the grand prize of $100 000, and six additional prizes of $50,000 each, including the new Coca-Cola Award for an Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur, granted to Victoria Seeds, an agribusiness based in Kampala, Uganda. 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.
Five further finalists were recognized and each awarded a prize of US $50, 000:
- Chocolate City Group, Abuja, Nigeria
- Expand Technologies., Phoenix, Mauritius
- Pepperoni Foods, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
- Unique Solutions, Serrekunda, The Gambia
- soleRebels, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Philip Vassiliou, managing director of Legatum, comments that, “Legatum firmly believes that entrepreneurship is the most effective mechanism for distributing scarce resources around an economy. Entrepreneurs have the ability to see an opportunity and build a business around it, and the profit these businesses generate is evidence that needs are being met in the optimal way.” He adds, “We are pleased to recognise all of our 2011 Award finalists for the vital contributions they have made in promoting prosperity across the continent.”