Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH), the flagship philanthropic programme for the Jack Ma Foundation, continues its commitment to addressing barriers to economic development and entrepreneurship across Africa.
Each year for 10 years (2021 being the 3rd edition), the ABH awards grant funding to 10 outstanding African start-ups/entrepreneurs as follows: the winner receives $300,000, the 1st Runner up receives $250,000, the 2nd Runner up receives $150,000 and 7 others in the Top 10 each receives $100,000 cash, on top of other networking and learning opportunities and support.
ABH just announced the 2021 Top 20 outstanding African entrepreneurs chosen from 12,000+ entries, selected by a prestigious pool of 233 judges.
Amongst them is Botswana’s Ketshephaone Jacob of The Bulb World, a renowned entrepreneur in the manufacturing industry.
Jacob and the rest of the Top 20 African entrepreneurs are currently undergoing various training and evaluation where after the Top 10 will be announced in September or early October.
These will be headed to the grand finale where they will each pitch their business ideas live to global business legends in November to determine who takes what share of the USD 1.5 million prize pool.
This year’s Top 20 entrepreneurs represent 11 African countries, including Nigeria (4), Botswana (1), South Africa (2), Kenya (4), Uganda(2), Egypt (2), Cote d’Ivoire (1), Rwanda(1), Eritrea(1), Ghana (1), Zimbabwe (1), and Togo (1). Of the Top 20 45% are female. There is an enormous diversity in the type of businesses, with sixteen different sectors represented including agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education, energy, environmental protection, financial services, Food & Beverages, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail, and transportation. Judging revolves around visionary entrepreneurs in Africa who are providing innovative and robust solutions to problems in their communities.