The Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition has opened applications for its fifth annual edition.
ABH is a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy that seeks to support entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries
Every year since 2019, ABH conducts a continent-wide search with its partners for 10 outstanding, mission-driven entrepreneurs that are striving to make a difference in their local communities. Over a 10-year period, ABH will recognize a total of 100 African entrepreneurs.
“At ABH, we have long recognized the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of economic and social growth. Now in the fifth year of the competition, we are encouraged to see that ABH has grown into a truly Pan-African initiative that is positively impacting the continent’s entrepreneurship landscape. We are extremely impressed with the increasing diversity of our Heroes and how they’ve been taking tangible steps to solve some of Africa’s most challenging issues. ”Zahra Baitie-Boateng, Head of Partnerships & Programs of ABH, said.
At the Grand Finale to be held later this year, the 10 finalists will take the stage to present their businesses to a panel of legendary business people. The journey to the finale will also include access to a community of international business leaders and innovators, industry experts, investors and accelerators, as well as multi-disciplinary bootcamps and training sessions to help the participating entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
Apart from grant, mentorship and networking opportunities, ABH creates a television show every year which follows the finalists of the previous year on their exciting journey to the Grand Finale, featuring their on-stage pitches as well as behind-the-scenes moments. The ABH Show aims to provide a masterclass in entrepreneurship, as audiences can see first-hand how Africa’s top entrepreneurs refined their final pitches and faced challenging questions from the judges. The upcoming edition of the ABH Show will be in shorter episodes, and released on ABH’s official YouTube channel and ABH’s social media platforms from March 2023 onwards. A combined longer version will be launched at CNBC, StarTimes and Vox Africa later this year.
To date, over 72,000 entrepreneurs across the continent have participated in the ABH Prize Competition. The 10 outstanding finalists for 2022 were chosen from over 21,000 applicants from 54 African countries, representing a broad spectrum of industries including agriculture, consulting, energy environmental protection, healthcare, information and communication technology (ICT), and retail.
The ABH Prize Competition is Pan-African, inclusive, sector-agnostic and grassroots-oriented. Entrepreneurs in Africa, across every sector, gender and age group and all levels of society, are encouraged to submit their applications, in either English or French, for a chance to become one of the top 10 finalists to compete for a share of US$1.5 million in grant money.
Applications can be done here and are now open until May 12, 2023, with the top 50 candidates announced in July, semi-finalists announced in August and the top 10 finalists unveiled in September.