The fifth annual edition of the “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) Award Competition, a charitable project supported by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, has begun accepting applications from the continent’s entrepreneurial elite.
ABH is a component of the Jack Ma Foundation’s ongoing dedication to promoting an open, robust, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. Since 2019, ABH and its partners have searched the entire continent for 10 exceptional, mission-driven businesspeople who are working to improve their communities. ABH will honor 100 African businesspeople in total during a ten-year period.
At ABH, we have always recognized the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of economic and social growth,” said Zahra Baitie-Boateng, Head of Partnerships & Programs. We are happy to see that ABH has developed into a truly Pan-African program that is improving the entrepreneurship scene on the continent as it enters its fifth year of operation. We are incredibly impressed with the growing variety of our Heroes and the concrete efforts they have been taking to address some of Africa’s most pressing problems. We invite businesspeople from all nations, particularly those from smaller nations, to take advantage of ABH 2023 to share and inspire the tales of millions of people.
The Pan-African, inclusive, cross-sector, and community-focused ABH Prize Competition. Entrepreneurs from all 54 African nations are encouraged to submit their applications in either English or French for a chance to be chosen as one of the top 10 finalists and compete for a share of US$1.5 million in grant money. They can come from any sector, represent any gender, age group, or level of society.
The 10 finalists will take the stage at the Grand Finale later this year to pitch their companies to a panel of accomplished businesspeople. Also, participants will have access to a network of global business innovators and leaders, as well as industry experts, investors, and accelerators, along with multidisciplinary bootcamps and training sessions to help them grow their firms.
Apart from grant, mentorship and networking possibilities, ABH creates a television show every year which follows the finalists of the previous year on their exciting path to the Grand Finale, covering their on-stage pitches as well as behind-the-scenes experiences. The ABH Show promises to deliver a lesson in entrepreneurship, as fans can experience first-hand how Africa’s finest entrepreneurs honed their final pitches and faced hard questioning from the judges. Beginning in March 2023, the next season of the ABH Show will consist of fewer episodes and be broadcast on ABH’s official YouTube account (https://apo-opa.info/3ZfzhC1) and social media channels. Later this year, a combined extended version will debut on CNBC, StarTimes, and Vox Africa.
Almost 72,000 businesspeople from all over the continent have entered the ABH Prize Competition as of this writing. Out of more than 21,000 applicants from 54 African countries, the 10 outstanding finalists for 2022 (https://apo-opa.info/3F0XjIZ) were chosen. They represent a wide range of industries, including agriculture, consulting, energy, environmental protection, healthcare, information and communication technology (ICT), and retail.
My firm embodies my ideology and my principles, and I am happy that East Africa Fruits was acknowledged on the famous ABH platform,” said Elia Timotheo, founder and CEO of East Africa Fruits Co. and the winner of the 2022 ABH first award. My company and other locally owned African enterprises have benefited greatly from ABH’s access to networking and learning opportunities as well as media support. I hope that sharing my experience would encourage other business owners to believe that they, too, have the ability to change the world and be a part of ABH’s startup community.
East Africa Fruits is currently Tanzania’s top data-driven and technologically advanced food distribution firm. The business, which is dedicated to closing the tech divide for smallholder farmers, serves more than 7,000 customers every day and collaborates with more than 10,000 farmers around the nation.
This year, ABH will expedite the application process for prospective entrepreneurs by organizing live information sessions around the continent during the application period. Workshops will be organized in collaboration with several local entrepreneur organizations and ABH local connect leads in Ethiopia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. Information will be disseminated via the newsletter and social media platforms of ABH.
The extensive ties ABH has with important ecosystem partners are crucial to its success. As in past years, ABH will collaborate with a number of groups to promote the call for submissions, provide assistance to African entrepreneurs, and highlight their outstanding work. Afrilabs, RiseUp (https://RiseUp.co/), SA Innovation Summit (https://InnovationSummit.co.za/), The Room (https://www.TheRoom.com/), an initiative of the African Leadership Group, and VC4A (https://VC4A.com/) are the 2023 Anchor partners. African Management Institute (AMI) (https://www.AfricanManagers.org), AfterSchool Africa (https://www.AfterSchoolAfrica.com), Anzisha Prize (https://apo-opa.info/3IS4p3E), Briter Bridges (https://BriterBridges.com), Disrupt Africa (https://Disrupt-Africa.com), Haske Ventures (https://www.HaskeVentures.com), Moroccan Center for Innovation Sign up for the ABH Partner network here (https://apo-opa.info/3SOKI1d) for organizations.
The top 50 candidates will be published in July, the semi-finalists will be released in August, and the top 10 finalists will be announced in September. Applications are now being accepted online until May 12, 2023.
Visit the following to apply and learn more about ABH 2023: https://apo-opa.info/41MUCo0 and follow ABH on Twitter (https://apo-opa.info/3KY3OQs), LinkedIn (https://apo-opa.info/3L1Cgda), Instagram (https://apo-opa.info/3KZTXKa), Facebook (https://apo-opa.info/3ylgNE9) and YouTube (https://apo-opa.info/3YDG5bH).