Our journey began when Jack Ma first visited Africa in 2017 in his capacity as special adviser to UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi. During his trip, he was inspired by the entrepreneurial energy and potential he saw in the young people he met.
He also recognised many of the same barriers to economic development and entrepreneurship in Africa that existed in China when he founded Alibaba in 1999.
During his visit, Jack committed to do his part to inspire, train and support entrepreneurs in Africa to build inclusive business models that can create jobs and economic opportunities for the continent.As part of this commitment, in 2018, Jack announced the establishment of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ABH) with an initial $10 million grant to identify, spotlight and award grant-funding to 100 Africa’s Business Heroes across Africa over the next 10 years.
In November 2019, we held our inaugural Africa’s Business Heroes competition in Accra, Ghana where we identified ten outstanding business heroes who are creating significant impact and driving change in their local communities. Each of these heroes won their share of a $1 million in grant funds and were able to tell their stories to Africa and the world. In addition, our heroes receive mentorship, training and networking opportunities.
Further inspired by the Business Heroes, their impact & potential, Jack increased the total prize pool to $100 million. The funds have been allocated over a ten-year period towards grant funding, training programs, and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.Thanks to the increased Prize pool, our yearly award increased from $1 million to $1.5 million.
We are open to Candidates from all 54 African Countries.
Entrepreneurs of all ages and genders are encouraged to apply.
Entrepreneurs from all industries are eligible to apply.
We are looking for entrepreneurs from all levels of society.