Top 50 finalists have emerged in a Jack Ma Foundation competition that seeks to support African entrepreneurs.
This year's "Africa's Business Heroes" prize competition, organized by Jack Ma Foundation's flagship philanthropic program in Africa, Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, is the second edition after its 2019 debut.
The competition aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future, according to organizers.
Over a 10-year period, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative plans to recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to allocating 100 million U.S. dollars in grant funding and training programs for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The top 10 finalists in the competition will share a prize pool of 1.5 million dollars this year and gain access to the initiative's community of business leaders to leverage its shared expertise, best practice, training and resources.
"With this prize competition, we are looking to inspire and reward African business heroes in all sectors and encourage any aspiring applicants to seize this opportunity to break through barriers and create hope for the future," said Jason Pau, senior adviser for international programs at Jack Ma Foundation.
Over 22,000 registrations from 54 African countries were received since the launch of the competition on April 6 until the close of the application on June 22, according to the foundation.
The applicants, from a wide range of sectors, are aged between 19 and 82, and the average age of the top 50 finalists is 37, it said.
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