TechInAfrica – On August 8, 2018, Founder of Ali Baba Group, Jack Ma launched Jack Ma Foundation’s ” Netpreneur Prize” an aid program to fund and support African entrepreneurs in order to create new entrepreneurs. The new entrepreneur is expected to be able to open jobs so that it will improve the standard of living of the people of South Africa. The type of business that will be guided is local digital entrepreneurship. Prizes for the Netpreneur Prize will be announced during the “Netpreneur: The Rise of Digital Lions” conference. This prize is in the form of cash of US $ 10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.
Starting next year 2019, Jack Ma Foundation will hold a similar competition every year, where 10 finalists from all continents show off their business talents and ideas to get a cash prize of US $ 1 million. In addition they also get easy access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to improve their business skills with the community.
The idea of the competition began with the visit of Jack Ma in 2017 in South Africa, he saw the energy and entrepreneurial potential of young people in South Africa. This competition is expected that online businesses can grow and develop so that it will have a positive impact on the local economy. This is like Jack Ma’s speech that ” As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand the importance of getting support during the early days. This prize demonstrates our support for the next generation of positive entrepreneurs in their communities. I am inspired and encouraged by these entrepreneurs who, together, will help build a sustainable, inclusive economy for Africa and for the world “.
Announcement of winners and prize submission will be held in conjunction with the conference “Netpreneur: The Rise of Digital Lions”. The conference was organized by a collaboration between Alibaba Business School, Jack Ma Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The conference aims to bring together more than 800 entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics, students, banks and venture capitalists to overcome the challenges and opportunities to face African entrepreneurs.
The conference was welcomed by world leaders namely Ban Ki – moon as Former UN secretary general and co – chair of the Ban Ki – moon Center for Global Citizens. He said that “With the rapid development of the global digital economy and the availability of technology, the next century belongs to Africa. I am excited to join the advisory board of the Africa Netpreneur Prize. Through this prize, we aim to support African entrepreneurs to build a more inclusive and prosperous form of future prospects of the continent for the better.
The Netpreneur Prize program is Jack Ma’s second program to increase the number of entrepreneurs in Africa. Previously Jack Ma launched the Fellowship Initiative program, a program that will train 1,000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets, 200 of which will come from Africa, with the aim of building a community of young entrepreneurs committed to creating a digital platform to improve the local economy. This program supports the aim of the National Sustainable Development Goal of Ensure no one is left behind in the digital economy.