Entries for the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) will officially close on June 30, leaving less than ten days for African entrepreneurs to submit their applications for the chance to pitch their business ideas to Chinese business magnate Jack Ma and win a share of the $1-million prize at the grand finale event in November.
The ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation in Africa.
Jack Ma elected to create the prize after his first trip to Africa in July 2017, when he was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.
The competition is open to entrepreneurs from across Africa; and from all industries, including traditional and tech sectors. It puts a special focus on small enterprises, female entrepreneurs and those doing work to improve local communities.
To enter the competition, each business must create three short videos – one from the founder, one from an employee and one from a customer.
Applicants must be African nationals leading mission-driven organisations and must have been operating for at least three years.
The semi-finalists will be announced in August, with the top ten finalists to travel to the grand finale in November.
The finalists will be selected by a team of judges from the five regions representing the entire continent.
The Jack Ma Foundation has teamed up with regional partners Nailed (continental and Eastern Africa), 22 on Sloane (Southern Africa), Nine (West Africa), and Rise Up (North Africa) to promote the prize in their respective regions.
The partners mobilise entrepreneurs across the continent through grassroots outreach.
“There is incredible entrepreneurial energy in Africa and we’ve been inspired and motivated by the entries we’ve seen thus far,” Jack Ma Foundation International Programs senior adviser Jason Pau said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“We strongly encourage every entrepreneur across Africa to use this opportunity to overcome any barriers they’ve faced and share their ideas with the continent.”