The Jack Ma Foundation has announced the launch of the second edition of “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) prize competition. Applications are now open to African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, as well as every sector, age group, and gender. Entries will now be available in both French and English.
The ABH prize competition and show is organized by the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa. ABH made its debut last year, and aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.
Every year, ten finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition show that will be broadcast online and across the continent. At this year’s grand finale, all ten finalists will share a prize pool of US$1.5 million, up from $1 million last year, as well as gain access to the ANPI community of business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practice, training and resources.
Last year, the prize received nearly 10,000 applications from 50 African countries. The 2019 top ten finalists pitched their business ideas to a prominent judging panel during a televised grand-finale show in Accra, Ghana. The finalists represented a variety of industries – including cloud kitchens, tech agribusiness, healthcare and pharma, e-commerce, consumer goods, and water supply solutions.
Global leaders Graca Machel, Chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary- General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens serve on the ANPI advisory board. Over a ten-year period, the ANPI will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to allocating US$100 million in grant funding, training programs, and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This year, ANPI will work with a select group of Anchor Partners, including Ashesi, Dalberg, Janngo and RiseUp to identify and support African entrepreneurs. ANPI will also partner with Pulse.Africa to highlight stories of African entrepreneur heroes. More partners will be announced in due course. In addition, Anita Erskine, UN SDG Advocate and Founder of the STEM Woman Project, joins ANPI to serve as the official host of “Africa’s Business Heroes” program and Brand Ambassador. Her advocacy for social good reflects the boldness, creativity and strength that the Prize will be looking for in their entrepreneur heroes.
Applications will be open online from April 6th to June 9th 2020 with semi-finalists announced in August, and the top ten finalists for 2020 unveiled in September.
To apply and for more information about ANPI, please visit: africabusinessheroes.org