The ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ Competition has longlisted top 20 African entrepreneurs who will proceed to Semi-finals for a chance to become a Top 10 hero. The top 20 represent 11 countries from across Africa and a wide spectrum of key business sectors.
The 20 entrepreneurs are now one step closer to becoming a Top 10 hero with a chance to pitch at the grand finale and gain a share of $1.5 million prize pool.
The Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition is a flagship philanthropic initiative spearheaded by the Jack Ma Foundation, aimed at supporting and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors, building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent.
Of the Top 20 entrepreneurs, 45% are female and the average age of the group is 34. They represent key sectors and industries of the African economy such as agriculture, beauty, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, and retail.
They represent 11 countries from Africa – Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. 10% are from Francophone countries and 55% operate in rural areas.
The semi-final stage of the competition will comprise a thorough process and a pitch before a prestigious panel of judges. The panel will test each entrepreneur’s motivation and vision, business plan, and ability to clearly articulate how their businesses can generate positive impact for their communities.
12,000 applicants from across Africa had applied to the ABH competition this year but only fifty outstanding entrepreneurs were chosen to progress to the next stage of competition for further judging.
The top 50 engaged in virtual boot camps to learn from business leaders as well as previous ABH winners in preparation for their second-round interviews.
The Top 10 heroes will be announced in October and the competition will culminate in a grand finale show later this year where the Top 10 will take the stage to pitch live to global business legends.
The 2021 semi-final judges include leading entrepreneurs, VCs and start-up accelerators, and distinguished public figures in Africa including Fatoumata Ba, Founder of Janngo; Marième Diop, Investment Manager at Orange Digital Ventures;Hasan Haider, Managing Partner of 500 StartUps; Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman of APO Group; and Fred Swaniker, Founder of ALU.
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