The Africa Business Champions Award 2022 announces the names of 50 (…]

On August 1, the Jack Ma Foundation announced the names of the 50 finalists for the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Award, 2022 edition.

With the aim of highlighting and supporting African entrepreneurs, the Jack Ma Foundation has organized the Africa Business Champions Award (ABH), 2022 edition.

The competition attracted more than 21,000 participants from 54 African countries. Requests from Central Africa increased by 20% or 9% of all incoming requests. Southern Africa fielded 17% of the candidates, Eastern Africa 17% and West Africa 43%.

In addition, the number of applications from North Africa, which increased by 26% compared to the previous version, represented 7% of the total. This year, the number of applications from 34 countries increased by more than 50%. Egypt, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Burundi, for example, are showing exponential growth in their participants, cementing ABH’s position as a truly African initiative.

Female entrepreneurs are well represented, with 31% of applications. The age of the participants ranges from 19 to 72 years, which is evidence that there is no age limit for an entrepreneur.

ABH, now in its fourth edition, has become a flagship charity program in Africa. Most of the participants learned about the existence of the competition orally.

A panel of more than 60 judges will interview the 50 finalists, from a variety of industries – agriculture, energy, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. Ten percent of them are French-speaking, 42 percent are women, and 60 percent are in rural areas.

For the first time, the top 50 list includes candidates from Burkina Faso, Somalia, Guinea and Burundi.

“We are pleased to see that all countries and regions of Africa are represented in the competition this year and that the participants are more diverse than ever,” said Zahra Betty Boateng, Head of Partnerships and Programs, Business Champions in Africa. According to her, “More than 21,000 entrepreneurs of all sectors, genders and ages entered the competition and this is very encouraging!”.

The 50 finalists at ABH 2022 are a testament to the huge potential and talent that exists in Africa. We look forward to displaying it and providing the support they need to grow and make a positive impact on their businesses and communities.”

50 ABH 2022 finalists recently participated in a virtual training seminar for the next round of interviews.

The symposium provided sessions led by partners and members of the jury. Topics covered included using data to better understand markets, identify development opportunities, deliver effective digital marketing campaigns and sell in the digital age.

The top 20 will be announced at the end of August. Finally, the top ten will be known in October, before the Grand Final where each of these top ten will present their project directly to international celebrities from the business world to win their share of the $1.5 million prize.

This year, the competition’s official slogan is “It’s African Time”, a bold call to action for all African entrepreneurial talent who challenge stereotypes associated with “African time” by making an impact and building a better and more inclusive future through their activities.

See the list of 50 finalists for ABH 2022 at https://bit.ly/3PS0iqp.

About business champions in Africa

The Africa Business Champions Competition is a pioneering philanthropic initiative led by the Jack Ma Foundation. This competition aims to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs from all business sectors who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy across the continent.

For ten years, ABH will reward 100 African entrepreneurs and is committed to providing grants, training programs, and support to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each year, the ABH Competition selects 10 finalists who have the opportunity to showcase their work and win a share of the US$1.5 million prize. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation, created the competition after his first visit to Africa in 2017, during which he drew inspiration from the energy and entrepreneurial potential of young people he met.

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