The Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a prestigious philanthropic program created by the Jack Ma Foundation to highlight and support African entrepreneurs, has just announced the names of the 50 finalists for its 2022 edition. This year, the competition a providing over 21,000 entries from 54 African countries.
Applications from Central Africa are up 20%, or 9% of the total applications received. Southern Africa presented 17% of the candidates, East Africa also 17% and West Africa 43%. In addition, the number of applications from North Africa, which is up 26% compared to the previous edition, represents 7% of the total. This year, the number of applications from 34 pays an increase of more than 50%. Egypt, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Burundi, for example, are showing tremendous growth in their participants, which strengthens the position of the ABH as a pan-African initiative.
Women entrepreneurs are well represented, with 31% of applications. The age of the participants ranges from 19 to 72 years old, proof that there is no age limit to be an entrepreneur. The ABH, which is now in its 4e edition, has become an essential philanthropic program in Africa. Most of the participants learned about the existence of the competition by word of mouth.
A panel of more than 60 judges will now interview the 50 finalists, from a variety of industries – agriculture, energy, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. Ten percent of them are French-speaking, 42% are women and 60% are active in rural areas. For the first time, this top 50 includes candidates from Burkina Faso, Somalia, Guinea and Burundi.
“We are delighted to see that this year, all countries and regions of Africa are represented in the competition and that the participants are more identified than ever,” said Zahra Baitie-Boateng, Partnerships and Program Manager, Africa’s Business Heroes. More than 21,000 entrepreneurs from all sectors, genders and ages have entered into lice and it is very encouraged! »
“The 50 ABH 2022 finalists are a testament to the tremendous potential and talent that exists in Africa. We look forward to showcasing them and providing them with the support they need to grow and have a positive impact on their businesses and communities,” she added.
The 50 ABH 2022 finalists recently participated in a virtual training seminar for the next round of interviews. The seminar offered sessions led by partners and members of the jury. Topics covered included using data to better understand markets, identifying development opportunities, delivering effective digital marketing campaigns and selling in the digital age.
The top 20 will be announced at the end of August. Finally, the top 10 will be announced in October, before the grand finale as each of these top ten will pitch their project live to international business celebrities to clinch their share of the $1.5 million USD prize. This year, the official contest slogan is “ It’s African time a bold call to action for all African entrepreneurial talents who are challenging the stereotypes associated with the “African time” by granting local impact and building a better and more inclusive future through their activities.