The top 20 semi-finalists for the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition, a flagship philanthropy program launched by the Jack Ma Foundation, were just named.
These 20 entrepreneurs are one step closer to being a Top 10 hero and competing for a portion of the US$1.5 million prize pool at the grand finale.
The average age of the Top 20 entrepreneurs is 34, and 45 percent of them are female.
Agriculture, beauty, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, media and entertainment, and retail are among the sectors and industries represented.
Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda are among the 11 African countries represented. 10% of employees are from Francophone nations, while 55% work in rural areas.
The competition’s semi-final stage will include a full due diligence process and a pitch in front of a distinguished panel of judges.
Each entrepreneur’s passion and vision, business plan, and ability to properly express how their firms may have a good influence on their communities will be put to the test by the panel.
Leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and start-up accelerators, as well as prominent African public figures such as:
This year’s ABH competition received 12,000 applications from all throughout Africa. From there, 50 excellent entrepreneurs were picked to go to the next round of the competition, where they would be judged further.
In preparation for their second-round interviews, the top 50 attended virtual boot camps to learn from business executives and previous ABH champions.
More than 75 hours of interviews were conducted in Round 2 with 48 judges from Africa and around the world representing 21 different industry sectors.
The Top 10 heroes will be revealed in October, and the challenge will culminate in a major finale presentation later this year, during which the Top 10 will pitch live to global business luminaries.