The Group BMCE Bank of Africa announces the closing of Round 1 of the second edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award. The AEA is dedicated to inspire talented African entrepreneurs, or originating from Africa, by funding businesses using technologies that transcend borders to create jobs and improve lives.
Round 1 opened in mid-February and closed May 6th 2016, attracting about 8800 entrepreneurs from 105 countries submitting 3900 business ideas, that is an increase of +33% in applications volume compared to the Award’s first edition in 2015. From now until May 31st, 130 Regional African mentors are mentoring each business idea to decide who continues to Round 2 “Most Likely to Succeed Across Africa” in each category: Education, Environment and Uncharted Domains. Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries plus 51 countries in the diaspora competed in Round 1 for “Most Needed In My Region”.
Round 1 winners will be announced on May 31st for the opening of Round 2, lasting from May 31st to July 31st 2016. During Round 2, entrepreneurs will benefit from the Pan-African mentors’ expertise to improve their business’ ability to meet customer needs and compete effectively across Africa. Following this second round, the best ideas will qualify for the third round of the AEA competition, where Global Mentors from the three continents will mentor African entrepreneurs to improve their businesses and rank “The Most Significant and Sustainable Businesses” for Africa.
Initiated in November 2014 by the Chairman of the Group BMCE Bank of Africa, Mr Othman Benjelloun, the African Entrepreneurship Award illustrates the commitment of this group to inspire entrepreneurship across all of Africa. Each year, this initiative funds US $1 million for the best African entrepreneurs, thus supporting their efforts to create jobs and improve lives for every African region. In 2015, the US $1 million Award was shared among 10 winners from five economic zones across Africa.