50 Finalists Selected for Jack Ma’s $1.5m Africa’s Business Heroes Competition

Jack Ma foundation

  • The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition has selected 50 Africans as finalists. The prize competition is a programme of the Jack Ma Foundation through its Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI).
  • About 22,000 applications were received for the second edition of Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Competition. These applications are spread across 54 African countries.
  • The top 20 finalists will be revealed in August, with the announcement of the ultimate top 10 finalists in September who will pitch to win their share of a US$ 1.5 million prize pool.

The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition has selected 50 Africans as finalists. The prize competition is a programme of the Jack Ma Foundation through its Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI).

These finalists will attend an exclusive bootcamp on July 28th which will be organised by Africa’s Business Heroes team. After this, they will enter another selection round, to determine the final 20 contestants.

About 22,000 applications were received for the second edition of Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Competition. These applications are spread across 54 African countries. Applications were open in French for the first time this year. Prize money for this year’s edition is $1.5 million.

The second edition of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Competition received around 22,000 submissions. These applications span 54 countries in Africa. For the first time this year, the applications were available in French. The Prize money is $1.5 million for this year’s edition.

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The Finalists

The finalists were selected from 21 nations with 32 per cent coming from Francophone countries. Fifty per cent of the finalists are women, showing a 24 per cent rise from last year’s maiden edition.

The average age of candidates is 37, with the youngest being just 22 while the oldest is 64. The organisers of the competition claim that the 2020 edition is sufficiently inclusive with these numbers.

The diversity of the finalist roster represents the goal of the African Business Heroes to be inclusive, offering a forum for entrepreneurs from all over Africa to showcase their talent and business ideas, regardless of ethnicity, industry, age or gender.

The competition

In the course of a month, a jury of 140 judges reviewed the petitions. The selection criteria include the leadership and vision of candidates, their willingness to turn concepts and ideas into viable and effective business models and their dedication to making a positive impact to improve their communities.

In a Bootcamp, the class of 50 candidates will be mentored to develop their “management and leadership capabilities and ultimately increase not only their chance of progressing to the next stages of the competition but to further develop as entrepreneurs.”

Some mentors are the Director of the Founders Institute, Rafeh Saleh and Senior Program Manager at Facebook, Omolara Awoyemi. Others are Founder & CEO of RiseUp, Abdelhameed Sharara; Founder and President of Ashesi University, Patrick Awuah; and General Partner of Janngo Capital, Sebastien Nony.

The top 20 finalists will be revealed in August, with the announcement of the ultimate top 10 finalists in September. Africa ‘s Business Heroes Competition will culminate in a grand final show later this year, where the top 10 finalists will compete for a chance to win their share of a US$ 1.5 million prize pool from Jack Ma and other global business leaders.

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