Do you know that Africa represents the fastest growing region for entrepreneurship in the world? Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Open for Submissions
The application process for the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, the $10 million contest launched by Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma to inspire an entire continent of entrepreneurs, is now officially open.
Applications to compete for the prize, which will award $1 million a year for the next 10 years to African entrepreneurs across all industries, will be open online through June 30. (To apply or find out more about the prize, go here.)
“This is a unique prize that is looking to inspire and reward heroes in both technology-driven and traditional businesses,” said Sam Gichuru, founder and CEO of entrepreneur accelerator Nailab. “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.”
Each year, the Jack Ma Foundation and Nailab will host an annual pitch competition, with all 10 finalists receiving grant funding and access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders for mentorship and other resources.
The competition is open to entrepreneurs who are nationals from any of the 54 African countries, all industry sectors are eligible, and the Jack Ma Foundation and Nailab said they strongly encourage small enterprises, female entrepreneurs and those doing work to improve local communities to apply.
“I especially encourage powerful women entrepreneurs to apply,” said Graca Machel, chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board. “It is up to you to be the heroes that will usher the continent into the next stage of development, growth and prosperity.”
The Netpreneur Prize is the latest initiative by Ma to foster and develop entrepreneurial talent in Africa. He launched the eFounders Fellowship after his visit to the continent in 2017, with the goal of empowering 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries, 200 of whom would hail from Africa. To date, 52 African entrepreneurs have participated in a two-week fellowship at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, during which participants make a two-year commitment to improve society through their businesses.