The application process for the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is officially open to African entrepreneurs from all countries, Rwanda included, the Jack Ma Foundation said this week in a statement.
The ANPI is a prize competition founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma through his charity organisation. It will award US$10 million and recognise 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.
The Prize aims to support and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.
According to Jack Ma Foundation, the Prize seeks to empower entrepreneurs across Africa from both technology-driven and traditional industries with a special focus on small enterprises, female entrepreneurs, and those doing work to improve local communities
Every year, 10 finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition that will be broadcast across the continent.
All ten finalists will gain access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practice and resources.
Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma first created the prize after he made his first trip to Africa in July 2017 and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.
The prize is open to entrepreneurs from all industries, and Ma especially encouraged those running small businesses, those making a difference in their local communities and female entrepreneurs to apply.
Global leaders Graca Machel, Chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens serve on the ANPI advisory board.
The Jack Ma Foundation has teamed up with regional partners: Nailab (continental and Eastern Africa), 22 on Sloane (South Africa), Nine (West Africa), and Rise Up (North Africa) to promote the prize in their respective regions.
The partners will mobilise entrepreneurs across the continent through grassroots outreach.
Graca Machel, who is also the widow of South African freedom icon Nelson Mandela, praised the Prize’s inclusive approach and focus on female entrepreneurs.
“I especially encourage powerful women entrepreneurs to apply. It is up to you to be the heroes that will usher the continent into the next stage of development, growth and prosperity,” she said.
Nailab founder and CEO, Sam Gichuru, called for applicants to consider a visionary approach towards creating all inclusive solutions to the continent’s challenges.
“This is a unique prize that is looking to inspire and reward heroes in both technology-driven and traditional businesses. We hope that all of the applicants will be able to use this opportunity to break through the barriers that have been holding them back,” he noted
Applications opened online from March 27 and will run until June 30.
To apply, follow this link: https://apply.netpreneur.africa/acc/r/