Second edition of Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize opens for applications

Applications for the second edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize has been announced by the Jack Ma Foundation. The application process is open to 54 African countries, although only ten participants will make it to the finale and share a prize pool of $1.5 million; up from $1 million last year.

The entrepreneurship initiative was created to identify Africa’s next generation founders through the “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) initiative. Last year, Nigeria’s Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and Chief Executive Officer of LifeBank, was announced as Africa’s Business Hero.

Ten entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, solving the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future will be selected to compete for the final pitch competition that will be broadcasted online

According to the organisers, applications will now be accepted in English and French. In a statement obtained by Nairametrics, it was disclosed that about 10,000 applications were received from 50 African countries last year. That number could increase in 2020.

The competition is open to various industries, including cloud kitchens, tech agribusiness, healthcare and pharma, e-commerce, consumer goods, and water supply solutions. Interested entrepreneurs are urged to visit the organiser’s site on: africabusinessheroes.org. The application closing date has been fixed for June 9, 2020. The top ten finalists will be announced in September 2020.

The world is in need of groundbreaking idea: Speaking on the situation surrounding this year’s edition, Jason Pau, the Senior Advisor for International Programmes for Jack Ma Foundation said: 

“We find ourselves in unprecedented and extraordinary times. Now, more than ever, we need entrepreneurs with courage, initiative, and vision to do what they do best – solve problems for society.

“With this prize competition, we are looking to inspire and reward African business heroes in all sectors and encourage any aspiring applicants to seize this opportunity to break through barriers and create hope for the future.”

The $1.5 million is part of the $100 million grant funding created for African entrepreneurs by the foundation. The ANP plans to identify 100 African entrepreneurs in the next ten years. Aside from funding, participants will experience training programmes and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Anchor Partners, including Ashesi, Dalberg, Janngo and RiseUp will join forces with ANP to identify and support African entrepreneurs for this year’s edition. ANP also has on its advisory board, 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.

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