Contest for Jack Ma enterprise prize to kick off March 27

Jack Ma, founder and chairman, Alibaba Group. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Call for entries in the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), founded by the Jack Ma Foundation, will officially start on March 27.

The Sh1 billion pitch competition is set to award a 10 finalists each year with Sh100 million in total prize money, in addition to getting access to Netpreneur’s network of business leaders. The prize will focus on empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs running small businesses, grassroots communities and women-founded enterprises.

“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,” said Jack Ma Foundation Executive Secretary-General, Beth Yu.

“To realize these goals, we are excited to work with Nailab as our implementing partner in Africa and multiple African partners across to continent.”

Kenya’s start-up incubator Nailab is running the Sh1 billion African entrepreneurs funding programme. The firm will work closely with the Jack Ma Foundation team and other innovation hubs in rolling out the “Netpreneur Prize” across the continent. Nailab will also help identify other critical partners on the continent that will help roll out the programme.

The Chinese business magnate and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma launched the fund last year.

“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.

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