Muzalema Mwanza, FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme Season 2 winner and founder of the Zambian non-profit organisation, Safe Motherhood Alliance, was recently announced as the overall prize winner for the Pitch@Palace Africa 3.0 at St James’s Palace, London.
Founded by The Duke of York in 2014, Pitch@Palace is a business pitching platform that aims to amplify and accelerate work of entrepreneurs. Pitch@Palace Africa is a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation and Pitch@Palace.
Mwanza was named the overall winner in the Audience vote category among the 17 African entrepreneurs selected from 5 countries who entered the competition.
The event attracted large numbers of engineering entrepreneurs shortlisted for the 2019 Africa Prize to pitch their innovations directly to an influential audience from worlds of entrepreneurship, technology, media and investment.
As part of her winning, Mwanza will go on to take part in Pitch@Palace Global 4.0 at St James’s Palace on 11 December 2019 and will also pitch at the Africa Prize event which will be held in Kampala, Uganda – June 2019.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It encourages talented sub-Saharan African engineers, from all disciplines, to develop local solutions to challenges in their communities. The Prize selects innovators from across the continent and provides training and mentoring to help turn engineers with incredible ideas into successful entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurs who took part in Pitch@Palace Africa 3.0 are currently part way through an intensive programme of training and mentorship delivered by the Academy. Each year, all entrepreneurs shortlisted for the Africa Prize receive eight months of bespoke business mentoring, training, and networking opportunities, to enable them to turn their prototypes into profitable businesses with genuine economic and social impact.
It is not the first time Mwanza’s organisation receives recognition – after winning the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme regional competition at the SA Innovation Summit in September 2018, Safe Motherhood Alliance also won at the Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) and the 2018 YGAP Impact Acceleration Programme, to mention a few.
Safe Motherhood Alliance is a social enterprise that seeks to advance and improve safe births through their low-cost, disposable delivery kit for pregnant women in Zambia, used during childbirth. The organisation currently works with 20 Traditional Birth Attendants across 10 different clinics around Zambia.
To date, Safe Motherhood Alliance has assisted in delivering over 1000 babies safely – directly impacting over 1000 pregnant women and their babies.
Mwanza says one aspect of her vision is to train more health workers and to economically empower women who will act as the organisation’s agents across different communities.
Image credit: Pitch@Palace