BrandArena: Top 50 Candidates for Africa's Business Heroes Prize 2023 Announced

Monday 26 June 2023

Top 50 Candidates for Africa's Business Heroes Prize 2023 Announced

The top 50 candidates for the Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic effort sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy to recognise and empower African businesses, have been announced. ABH received 27,267 applications this year, the biggest number of entries since its debut in 2019, highlighting Africa's rising entrepreneurial drive.

This year, candidates came from all 54 African countries, demonstrating ABH's tremendous reach and participation across Africa. West Africa emerged as the clear frontrunner, accounting for 43% of all applications received. The Francophone countries accounted for 27% of all applications, the largest percentage in ABH's history.

The top 50 finalists were chosen from 20 countries across 13 different industries, led by agriculture, education and training, and healthcare, after an arduous round of evaluation by 256 experts from more than 40 countries. The finalists are 36 years old on average, with 38% female and 62% male. Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa have the top 50 candidates, and Sierra Leoneans are represented for the first time.

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the entrepreneurs and judges who participated in this edition of Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition. We are honoured to see the overwhelming response, which is a testament to the rising potential of Africa’s entrepreneur ecosystem,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International Programs, Jack Ma Foundation. “The top 50 finalists represent the incredible potential and talent that exists in Africa, and we believe there are more surprises underway for this edition. As our judging process moves forward and our fifth-anniversary event series unfolds, we invite all our supporters to stay connected and follow ABH closely.”

This year, all the top 50 finalists will be invited to join the Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass Global Edition 2023 to be conducted online by Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) from late July to late August, to acquire insights into how to harness digital technology to drive their business growth.

The top 20 finalists of ABH 2023 will be announced in July and the top 10 finalists in September. The return of a large-scale Grand Finale and Summit, during which the top 10 candidates will pitch live to global business legends to secure their share of the final award, is slated to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on November 23-24, 2023.

Every year, ABH spotlights outstanding participants through traditional media and social media channels, including providing significant exposure to the top 10 finalists via the ABH Show, which features the ABH journey of the previous edition’s top 10 finalists and their entrepreneurial stories. 
As part of reaching its five-year milestone this year, ABH will be publishing a fifth-anniversary impact report to showcase the growth and impact of the prize competition on African entrepreneurs over the years, and reflect on the applicants, winners and stakeholders who have been integral to its success.

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