Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative open for applications for 2020 edition


The Jack Ma Foundation has launched the second edition of its “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) prize competition, which is organised by the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative.

In a statement on Monday (6 April) the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative said applications are open to African entrepreneurs from all African countries, as well as every sector, age group, and gender.

Applications, which will also now be available in both French and English, close on 9 June.

At this year’s grand finale, all 10 finalists will share a prize pool of $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.

Applications for the 2020 Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative close on 9 June

Semi-finalists will be announced in August, and the top 10 finalists for 2020 will be unveiled in September.

The prize 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, 10 finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition show that will be broadcast online and across the continent.

Last year, the prize received nearly 10,000 applications from 50 African countries. The 2019 top 10 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.

LifeBank CEO Temie Giwa-Tubosun described in the same statement that it was an “honour” to be named Africa’s Business Hero last year (see this story).

“The prize enabled me to expand to multiple states in Nigeria and become a truly pan-Nigerian business, and I was truly inspired by my experience and by all my fellow winners,” said Giwa-Tubosun.

Over 10 years the prize aims to recognise 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, prize will work with a select group of anchor partners, including Ghanaian based private university Ashesi, US impact investors Dalberg, venture builder Janngo and Cairo based startups platform RiseUp to identify and support African entrepreneurs.

The prize 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 the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative to serve as the official host of “Africa’s Business Heroes” program and Brand Ambassador.

Read more: Nigeria’s LifeBank scoops $250k in Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize

Featured image: Alibaba founder Jack Ma (centre) with prizewinners from the inaugural 2019 Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (Supplied)



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