2022 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition for Young African Entrepreneurs

Deadline: June 26, 2022.

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs. Their mission is to showcase and grow local talent who are creating positive impact in their communities and beyond, and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship. Over a ten-year period, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant funding, training programs, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.


They are looking for African entrepreneurial heroes creating an impact in their communities and building a more inclusive economy for the future. Africans from all 54 African countries are eligible to apply irrespective of age, industry sector or gender. However, applicants have to meet a strict set of criteria:

  1. Applicant is of African origin. You should have African citizenship and/or a parent or grandparent has African citizenship.
  2. Company is Africa-Based. The business is registered and headquartered in an African country, and primarily operates in Africa.
  3. Company is post-Idea stage. Business is 3 years old or more and has at least 3 years of revenue history.
  4. NGOs can apply. However, like other applicants, you will need to demonstrate financial sustainability and show that you have customers/users. Please note that your clients can be government, development agencies and others. You must also show that you have generated revenue for at least 3 years. Kindly note, you can classify a grant as revenue.


  1. Mission, Vision, Values: ABH judges look out for applicant who are driven by passion and clear, impact-oriented goals.
  2. Problem/Need: Their judges evaluate whether the problem or need being addressed by the applicant is significant. They’re looking for businesses that are solving pain points for customers or addressing unfulfilled needs.
  3. Solution: ABH judges assess how the business is addressing the problem/need they’ve identified and whether the solution is unique and has a competitive advantage.
  4. Market Traction: Their judges look out for whether there is demand for the business’ product/service. They place emphasis on solutions that have customers and where there is demonstrated demand for the solution.
  5. Financial Sustainability: ABH judges evaluate the financial status and prospects of businesses. They place emphasis on revenue models that show scalability and that have generated income.
  6. Team: Their judges assess how well candidates engage and motivate their teams. They also look at whether the team members buy-in to the vision of the business. They believe in the power of teamwork and they’re looking for entrepreneurs who have strong teams.
  7. References: ABH judges evaluate what others have to say about you and whether you are a good fit to the Prize based on reference’s testimonial of you and your business.


  • A Written application.
  • Video introductions. You will be required to film and upload 2 separate videos, each 1 minute long: 1) Self & Company Introduction 2) Customer Testimonial .
  • A reference from a mentor, friend, teammate or partner.


They provide up to $300,000 in grant funds to our Top 10 finalists. Beyond the grant-funds, ABH provides finalists with several other benefits to enable them propel their business. These benefits include:

  1. Global recognition and increased visibility via the “Africa’s Business Heroes” Show, which is distributed across Africa via major television network providers and also covered by globally renowned media houses.
  2. Mentorship: The Prize provides finalists with the opportunity to engage with and receive advice from highly accomplished business leaders and investors.
  3. Access to special training programs. They offer their Heroes training at Alibaba’s headquarters via the prestigious eFounders fellowship training program.
  4. Networking opportunities: ABH attracts inspiring entrepreneurs from across all 54 African countries. Our finalists have the opportunity to connect with, learn and partner with other like-minded entrepreneurs and their community of judges.


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