The Africa’s Business Heroes flagship philanthropic programme for the Jack Ma Foundation in Africa, has announced the top 50 finalists for the 2021 ABH prize competition and twelve Nigerians entrepreneurs made the list.
The 12 Nigerian entrepreneurs include; Adebowale Odulana, founder of Doctoora E-Health Limited; Ebinabo Ofrey, founder of GeroCare Solutions Limited; Oghenetega Lortim, founder of Gricd; Abiodun Adereni of HelpMum; Leslie Emenalo of Kobopay; and Yetunde Oyalowo of Market Doctors- Social Enterprise.
Others are Chidi Nwaogu of Publiseer; Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf Marketplace Nigeria Limited; Olagoke Balogun of So Fresh Neighbourhood Market Limited; Godwin Benson of Tuteria; Ige Atiba of Laughkord Consult and Resources Limited and Olorunishola Aje of Ideas in Fusion Limited.
The top 50 finalists were chosen from over 12,000 entries, and selected by a prestigious pool of 233 judges.
Sixteen countries are represented in the top 50, 10percent of which are francophone and women are well-represented, making up 38percent of the list.
“In the face of incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, Africa’s entrepreneurs have shown incredible resilience and innovation,” said Jason Pau, executive director of International of Jack Ma Foundation in a press statement by APO Group.
“The top 50 of the 2021 ABH competition are a true testament to this, and we are excited to support these talented entrepreneurs as they continue to grow and generate positive impact,” Pau said.
These 50 African entrepreneurs are in the running to win a share of $1.5 million in grant funding and will gain invaluable networking and learning opportunities throughout their ABH journey.
During this first round, the judges were looking for visionary entrepreneurs who are providing innovative, robust solutions to problems in their communities.
They were focused on identifying passionate professionals that demonstrated an exceptional work ethic, financial sustainability and growth potential.
There is an enormous diversity in the type of businesses, with sixteen different sectors represented including agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education, energy, environmental protection, financial services, F&B, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail and transportation.
The top 50 will participate in an ABH virtual boot camp to engage with and learn from business leaders as well as previous ABH winners.
The boot camp will prepare them for the next round of interviews with the Round 2 judges, after which the Top 20 will be identified and announced in August.
The top 10 will be announced in late September, before they go on to the grand finale where they will pitch live to global business legends and secure their share of the $1.5 million prize pool.