2023 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition for African Entrepreneurs ($300,000 Prize)

2023 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition for African Entrepreneurs ($300,000 Prize)

2023 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition for African Entrepreneurs ($300,000 Prize)

Do you know an African Entrepreneur creating positive change through their business? Are they running a business that is at least 3 years old? Could they benefit from up to $300,000 in Grant Funds, Media exposure and access to training? If yes, then submit your application for Africa’s Business Heroes competition and take the first step towards making a real impact.

Each year the Prize selects ten “business heroes” from across Africa that compete for their share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding. During the competition, participants have also exclusive access to training, mentoring and learning programmes, as well as to a community of like-minded African business leaders.

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs. The 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.


  • Grant Shared Among the TOP 10
    • 1st Prize Winner: $300,000
    • 2nd Prize Winner: $250,000
    • 3rd Prize Winner: $150,000
    • Other Top 10 Finalists (7): $100,000
    • Training Opportunities: $100,000
  • Key Benefits of the Prize
    • They provide up to $300,000 in grant funds to the Top 10 finalists. Beyond the grant-funds, ABH provides finalists with several other benefits to enable them propel their business. These benefits include:
      • Learn about yourself and business: The ABH application form has been designed to ask questions that help you critically think about your business as you answer them. By simply taking the time to complete the application it will help you look at your business in detail and identify areas you can already start improving on.
      • Receive invaluable feedback: At each step of the application process, you will receive feedback and guidance from carefully selected judges. This feedback will be specific to your business.
      • Develop skills to tell your story: ABH is interested in not only your business, but your personal story too. Throughout the competition you will be given guidance on how to improve the way you tell your story which you can apply to pitching investors and growing your business beyond the competition.
      • Join an entrepreneurship ecosystem: ABH attracts inspiring entrepreneurs from across all 54 African countries. The finalists have the opportunity to connect with, learn and partner with other like-minded entrepreneurs and the community of judges.
      • Access exclusive mentorship and training: The Prize provides finalists with the opportunity to engage with and receive advice from highly accomplished business leaders and investors via mentorship and access to masterclasses by leading business professionals and inspiring peers.
      • 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.
  • Benefits of Becoming an ABH TOP 50 or TOP 20 Finalist
    • Access to the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Network. The finalists will also have the opportunity to become a part of the ABH Network where they can tap into valuable entrepreneurship resources such as mentorship, exclusive training resources – such as investment readiness coaching, and more. They will also have the opportunity to network with a wide range of business leaders and other likeminded entrepreneurs and be given access to exclusive ABH events tailored to help them refine and grow their businesses.
    • Feedback from Industry experts. Throughout the interview and evaluation process, the finalists will have the opportunity to engage with the highly-qualified judges who will offer finalists advice.
    • Publicity: They will provide the Top 50 and Top 20 finalists a platform to tell their stories through the website and social media channels. They also issue press releases on the Top 50 and 20 finalists to ensure their stories gain exposure across Africa and the world. The Top 10 heroes get featured in the ABH Show which highlights their stories and chronicles their journey to the finale, the Show is broadcast across the continent on top TV stations.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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:
    • Applicant is of African origin. You should have African citizenship and/or a parent or grandparent has African citizenship.
    • Company is legally registered. The business should be registered with the government in at least 1 African country. It should have a business license to operate.
    • Company is Africa-Based. The business headquartered in an African country, and primarily operates in Africa.
    • Company is post-Idea stage. Business has been operational for at least 3 years and has 3 years of revenue history to provide.
  • Only individuals of African origin may apply. In other words, you must either have African citizenship OR a parent/grandparent has African citizenship.
  • NGOs can apply.

Video Requirements

  • As part of the application, you will need to upload ONE video of a customer telling them why they purchase your product or solution. They encourage you to start this process early.
  • The video will need to do the following:
    • Feature you introducing yourself briefly and introducing the customer.
    • Feature a customer who shares his/her impressions on your product/service and how it has impacted him/her.
    • Be within 1 minute 30 seconds or less.
    • Be recorded in a landscape (horizontal) format
    • Be recorded in the language you are applying in (English or French). If any of the videos features any other language, you will need to include English or French subtitles or VERBALLY translate it.
  • Please note videos do not have to be professionally made and you can record it using a smartphone.

Application Deadline: 12-May-23

Click Here to Apply

Also Read: Other Opportunities to Apply

Also Apply for the Strategic-Technical Support Program – Capacity Building for NGOs and CBOs

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