Applications for Jack Ma’s USD $10 Million Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative open

Founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma (C),UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi (R),NaiLab Co-Founder Sam Gichuru (2nd R) and top TechPreneurs, in Kenya during his first visit to Africa (file photo/2017)

The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) a prize competition founded by the Jack Ma Foundation in partnership with Africa regional partners has been officially opened for application. The event that was live streamed across the continent took place in four African countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.

The ten year USD $10 million initiative that will identify and empower entrepreneurs from across Africa hopes to focus on small enterprises that are both technology driven and traditional businesses whose goal is to improve local communities. The Prize that requires applicants to apply on the online portal will see 10 finalists selected from the pool of applicants who will then defend their business models in a pitch that will be broadcast across Africa.

100 entrepreneurs will be rewarded over the 10 year period with each receiving USD $100,000. They will in addition, get access to Africa’s successful business leaders to learn the ropes on building and sustaining businesses based on outstanding business models.

Speaking during the official continental announcement in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Sam Gichuru founder of Nailab with who the Jack Ma Foundation has partnered said, “we hope that all of the applicants will be able to use this opportunity to break through the barriers that have been holding them back”.

Nailab CEO/Co-Founder Sam Gichuru (R), Metropol TV-Kenya GM Terryanne Chebet and Njugush Creatives CEO
Timothy Kimani during the launch of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI)  in Nairobi, Kenya

The ANPI prize was born out of a 2017 Africa visit by Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa

Graca Machel who also sits on the ANPI advisory board has described the prize as, “the next stage of development, growth and prosperity”, for young African entrepreneurs.

Applications are open and will close June 30, 2019 where after a review of applicants will be done followed by a shortlist of 50 applicants in August. A final list of 10 selected from the 50 applicants will be announced in October and thereafter a grand finale event will be held in November 2019 where the top ten finalists will pitch and compete for USD $1 million total prize money.

Kenya’s accelerator #Nailab is the continental and Eastern Africa partner tasked to drive participation of the initiative. Other partners include Nigerian Incubator supporting growth of entrepreneurs #Nine (Western Africa), conveners of North Africa’s Rise Up summit #RiseUp (Northern Africa) and 22 on Sloane the largest startup campus on the continent (Southern Africa).

Apply here

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