The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) will officially call for applications starting from March 27, 2019. The ANPI is a US$10 million Prize competition for African entrepreneurs, founded by the Jack Ma Foundation.
Each year for the next ten years, the Prize will host a pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million in total prize money. The Prize, which is supported by its continental partner Nailab, is focused on empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, with a focus on small businesses, grassroots communities and women-founded enterprises.
(TOP: Alibaba Group Chairperson Jack Ma – right – engages with entrepreneurs from across Africa during the launch of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative – ANPI – in Johannesburg in 2018. The ANPI’s official call for applications starts from March 27, 2019 with ten finalists from Africa competing for US$1 million in total prize money).
“The Netpreneur Prize Initiative has brought together a strong ecosystem of players to support both technology-driven and traditional businesses. We look forward to unveiling the full slate of regional partners and to receiving applications from promising African entrepreneurs in the coming weeks,” said Sam Gichuru, Founder and CEO, Nailab.
All ten finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices, and resources.
“By 2030, we hope to identify and shine a spotlight on 100 African entrepreneur heroes who will inspire the continent. From day one, our approach has been community-based and focused on inclusiveness; to be truly for Africans and by Africans. To realize these goals, we are excited to work with Nailab as our implementing partner in Africa and multiple African partners across to continent,” said Beth Yu, Executive Secretary-General, Jack Ma Foundation.
Core values of the ANPI will be reflected in the application criteria including:
- Open to entrepreneurs who are nationals from any of the 54 African countries
- Open to all industry sectors
- Strongly encourage young people and female entrepreneurs to apply
Key activities and dates for the prize are:
- Applications Launch: 27th March 2019
- Deadline for applications: 30th June 2019
- Announcement of the top 50 regional finalists: August 2019
- Announcement of the final 10 finalists: October 2019
- Grand Finale pitch event: November 2019
Jack Ma Foundation (JMF) is a charitable organisation founded in 2014 by Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. The foundation’s aim is to promote human development in harmony with both society and the environment, while its mission is to work towards a world of bluer skies, cleaner water, healthier communities, and more open thinking. From education to environment, to public health and personnel development in philanthropic sector, the foundation intends to awaken social consciousness and responsibility to cultivate an innovative and sustainable model for a better world.
Nailab is an accelerator that offers a “Launch out” program for entrepreneurs and “Launch in” program for those seeking employability in the digital economy. Through programs lasting 3 – 6 month long, the accelerator has designed initiatives that help cater to personal and or business transformations, ensuring an increase in knowledge in both soft and technical skills as well as access to opportunities such as seed and growth funding or market access. With its main focus being the support of entrepreneurs that are looking to optimise the use of technology to deliver better services and products, Nailab works with different organisations from Government, development aid, foundations and corporates that are youth centric to help design programs aimed at catalysing innovations, entrepreneurship and job creation.