Winners of the 2021 were announced on the 18th of November during a virtual live Grand Finale where US$1.5 million grant funding was awarded to the top 10 finalists. The top 10 represent seven African countries where 80 percent of the businesses operate in rural areas and half of these finalists are female.
Africa’s Business Heroes supported by the Jack Ma Foundation is a flagship philanthropic programme fostering an inclusive-yet-vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. The annual competition, in its third year, shines a spotlight on the continent’s talent. The ABH competition is organized at on grassroots transcending gender, age, language, and sector agnostic.
This year 12,000 applications were received from 54 African countries in Africa. The finalists were chosen from several rounds where a rigorous evaluation was connected by 230 judges. They were chosen after demonstrating visionary entrepreneurs who embodied resilience, innovation, growth potential, and impact on Africa.
Hundreds of viewers across 49 countries registered to watch this online grand finale and visit a virtual exhibition while following the finalists who pitched their businesses to a final panel of esteemed judges. The winners are:
The other finalists will receive $100,000 in prize funding and win an additional $10,000 which will go towards each finalist for a training program to be hosted at the Alibaba Group’s headquarters.
“The kind of talent and passion I saw among this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes is unrivaled around the world,” said Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group Joe Tsai.