Chinese Billionaire’s Investment In Africa Continues With This Year’s Netpreneur Prize

jack ma foundation netprenuer prize africans on china
Credit: Ventureburn

The Africa Netprenuer Prize initiative was launched by the Jack Ma Foundation to support and inspire entrepreneurs across the African continent. It will award US$ 1 million each year for the next 10 years in an annual pitch competition where the top finalist will compete in a televised event to win their share of the prize money. In its first year, more than 10,000 applicants from 50 countries in Africa participated in the competition.

This year’s Jack Ma’s foundation African Netprenuer initiative has announced its 10 finalists on Monday. The 10 finalists will pitch at the competitions grand finale on November 13 and 14 for a chance to win a share of a US$1.5 million prize pool.

Over 22,000 applications were received from all 54 African countries, and 10 finalists were selected after several rounds of rigorous evaluation. The top 10 finalists come from 8 African countries including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Their businesses cover key industries such as agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and financial services.

“I continue to be amazed by the passion, resilience, and vision of Africa’s entrepreneurs, and I look forward to meeting these 10 extraordinary businesswomen and businessmen at the grand finale…I am excited to learn more about how they are driving positive change and progress across the continent”, Jack Ma, founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba group said in a statement. 

One of the judges during the Semifinals, Bethlehem Alemu, who is also the founder of soleRebels, an Ethiopian based handcrafted shoe-making company, said the 2020 competition was incredible. He also added that this year’s entrepreneurs had exceptional ideas and that it is a testament to the talent that exists in Africa.

The grand finale will be held online, and the top 10 heroes will present their ventures as well as their vision and leadership profile to a finale judging panel that will include: Jack Ma; Ibukun Awosika, founder of the Chair center group, a Nigerian company dealing with office furniture and a banking security systems company; Strive Masiyawa, founder and executive chairman of Econet Group, a Pan- African telecommunications company; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice – Chairman of the Alibaba group.

Do you think this initiative is going to effectively promote creativity among African youth?

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