May 21, 2024

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Africa’s Business Heroes Takes 40 Entrepreneurs to China and Extends 2024 Application Deadline

Between April 20-27, the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, hosted 40 participants—consisting of top 10 Heroes, other finalists and partners from across Africa—in Hangzhou, China. Participants engaged in an immersive experience at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou and have returned to their home countries enriched with valuable insights to further enhance their entrepreneurial endeavors on the continent.

During their visit, the ABH Heroes (spanning cohorts from 2019 to 2023) participated in a wide range of activities. These included deep dives that explored various facets of the digital economy from cloud computing, AI-driven logistics to e-commerce villages. They participated in a series of workshops and site visits—all designed to elevate entrepreneurs to a higher level of success. The Heroes also exchanged knowledge and explored opportunities for collaboration with business leaders from Alibaba and with each other. These activities provided the participants with new knowledge and perspectives that they can potentially apply to overcome challenges, seize opportunities and scale their businesses.

Diarra BOUSSO, Founder & Creative Director of Diarrablu and ABH 2020 top 10 Hero, who was among the participants in the trip to China, expresses her gratitude for the experience, stating: This trip was so inspiring in so many ways. First, meeting all these entrepreneurs who are the top entrepreneurs on the African continent and spending a week together was an incredible experience. And second: being immersed in the world of Alibaba and all the companies Jack Ma and his team built over time and understanding the vision behind it was like a dream come true.”

In another exciting development, ABH is extending its deadline for 2024 entries from May 19 to June 9 to accommodate more entrepreneurs eager to participate in the competition. Candidates selected for the top 50 will gain access to a host of resources, including training, mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as a supportive network of fellow African business leaders. US$1.5 million in grant funding will be distributed among the top 10 finalists; the first prize winner will receive an award of US$300,000.

This year, ABH has also hosted information sessions and community events across the continent to facilitate the application process and nurture a vibrant entrepreneurial community. These events have taken place in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire, with upcoming sessions scheduled for Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal. These events are conducted in partnership with local entrepreneur organizations and key ABH stakeholders including judges, Heroes and partners.

To date, ABH has received applications from entrepreneurs spanning all 54 African countries. Entrepreneurs from across the continent – regardless of sector, age or gender – are invited to participate. Applications can be submitted in English or French at: https://AfricaBusinessHeroes.org/en/apply-now.

Individuals are also encouraged to nominate eligible entrepreneurs who they believe are creating impactful and sustainable solutions to challenging issues here: https://AfricaBusinessHeroes.org/en/nominate.

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