ABH’s China expedition and the transformative power of entrepreneurial ecosystems

The transformative power of entrepreneurial ecosystems lies in their ability to unlock unprecedented opportunities and dynamic partnerships. By cultivating environments where innovation and collaboration thrive, these ecosystems empower entrepreneurs to break new ground and build lasting business legacies. Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is an example of such an ecosystem, which not only focuses on individual success but also creates a network of interdependent relationships that amplify the potential for regional growth and global impact.

In the spirit of unlocking startup opportunities, the ABH initiative recently brought together a diverse cohort of entrepreneurial visionaries to embark on an extraordinary journey to Hangzhou, China. With 40 past Heroes representing 16 African countries, spanning 6 industries, and an average age of 37, the objective of the trip was multifaceted. It was one where ABH aimed to provide training and site visits, facilitate networking and relationship building, as well as cultural exchange with local communities, and explore potential business and investment opportunities.

ABH Heroes’ trip to China

In this blog, we’ll explore the impact of the China trip as well as the benefits of being part of the growing ABH ecosystem.

Exploring innovation

The China trip was more than just a geographical excursion. It was strategically designed to provide African entrepreneurs with insights into some of China’s cutting-edge technology. From visits to AI- driven logistics hubs and e-commerce villages to seminars with industry leaders and investors, the trip provided invaluable insights into China’s innovation ecosystem. For ABH heroes, it was a window into a world of possibilities.

“It was fascinating to see all the many campuses of Alibaba. I did not realize how big Alibaba was until the trip. There were several young people on campus and you could sense a spirit of innovation throughout the place. The clarity of vision to live 102 years really speaks to how they are building a business that will outlive its present employees. The appreciation of employees and the recognition of the various milestones at the first, third, and fifth year is something that I will also apply in my company.”

Perspectives from the trip: Ayodeji Arikawe, Co-Founder, Thrive Agric, ABH 2019 Top 10 Hero

Leveraging partnerships

Central to ABH’s mission is the cultivation of strategic partnerships that empower entrepreneurs to scale their ventures. The China trip facilitated interactions with Chinese businesses, paving the way for collaborations in areas such as technology transfer and market expansion, as well as potential investments. By leveraging the expertise and resources of Chinese counterparts, the business Heroes were positioned to gain a competitive edge in their industries and accelerate their path to success.

“Chari eCommerce is exploring the possibility of becoming an agent of Alibaba in Morocco. Our other company product, ChariMoney, is also looking to integrate Alipay within its payment gateway. We are also looking at low-hanging fruits such as moving our data to Alibaba Cloud, a much faster process than the opportunities mentioned above.”

Perspectives from the trip: Ismael Belkhayat, Co-Founder & CEO, Chari, 2023 ABH Top 10

Fostering collaboration

ABH’s strength lies in its vibrant ecosystem, where entrepreneurs come together to share insights, support one another, and drive collective action. The China trip served as a catalyst for strengthening these bonds, fostering networking opportunities among the Heroes themselves. By cultivating a culture of collaboration, ABH empowers entrepreneurs to innovate and create a lasting impact across the continent.

Benefits of ABH Engagement

Participating in the ABH program offers entrepreneurs a host of benefits beyond monetary rewards. From access to mentorship and resources to exposure to global networks, ABH empowers entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into reality. By being part of the ABH ecosystem, entrepreneurs gain invaluable insights, forge meaningful connections, and access opportunities that propel their ventures to new heights of success.


The Africa Business Heroes’ China trip exemplifies the transformative power of entrepreneurial ecosystems in driving innovation, collaboration, and growth. Through strategic partnerships, access to investments, and a culture of collaboration, ABH Heroes are charting new frontiers and shaping the future of entrepreneurship in Africa and beyond. As ABH continues to expand its footprint and empower entrepreneurs across the continent, the possibilities for transformative impact are boundless.

Ready to take your entrepreneurial journey to new heights?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join the ranks of Africa’s most inspiring entrepreneurs by participating in the Africa Business Heroes competition. ABH offers a platform to showcase your innovative ideas, connect with like-minded individuals, and access resources and mentorship to fuel your growth. Seize the chance to make a difference and unlock your full potential.

Learn more about ABH, apply now and be part of a community that’s shaping the future of African entrepreneurship: www.africasbusinessheroes.org.