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Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH), a philanthropic initiative by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, has unveiled this year’s top ten finalists after an intense round of semi-final business pitches and judging.
These remarkable entrepreneurs from across the African continent will vie for their share of the final prize of US$1.5 million in grant funding at the competition’s grand finale scheduled for 23 and 24 November 2023.
The 10 finalists, representing a diverse array of industries, were selected from an impressive pool of 27 267 applications spanning all 54 African nations. These entrepreneurs hail from eight African countries: Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa. Their start-ups cover a wide spectrum of sectors, including agriculture, education & training, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
- Bola Bardet from Benin, the CEO, and co-Founder of Susu.
- Ayman Bazaraa from Egypt, the CEO, and co-founder of Sprints.
- Andrew Takyi-appiah from Ghana, the founder of Zeepay Ghana Limited.
- Christina Gyisun from Ghana, the CEO, and co-founder of Sommalife Limited.
- Thomas Njeru from Kenya, the CEO, and co-founder of Pula Advisors Limited.
- Ismael Belkhayat from Morocco, the CEO, and founder of Chari.
- Ikpeme Neto from Nigeria, the CEO, and founder of Wellahealth Technologies.
- Albert Munyabugingo from Rwanda, the CEO, and co-founder of Vuba Vuba Africa LTD.
- Nthabiseng Mosia from South Africa, the CMO, and co-founder of Easy Solar.
- Theo Baloyi from South Africa, the CEO, and founder of Bathu.
These finalists have demonstrated their exceptional abilities to address critical challenges in their respective industries and communities. Their innovative solutions have the potential to drive social upliftment and economic progress across Africa.
The grand finale, which will be the biggest in ABH’s history as it celebrates its fifth anniversary, is set to be held in Kigali, Rwanda. Portions of the event will also be livestreamed to reach audiences across Africa.
Jason Pau, executive director of international programmes at the Jack Ma Foundation, expressed the organisation’s commitment to supporting African entrepreneurs, stating, “ABH remains committed to uncovering, championing, and supporting trailblazing African entrepreneurs who are bringing positive change to their communities.”
Rene Parker, co-founder and CEO of RLabs and ABH semi-final judge, added, “The ABH competition has shown that African entrepreneurship can emerge as a potent force propelling both social upliftment and economic progress.”
Originally launched in 2019, the ABH Prize is pan-African, inclusive, sector-agnostic, and grassroots-oriented. It aims to identify, support, and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs dedicated to solving pressing problems and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.