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Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative Will Start Accepting Applications From Next Month

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The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative for African startups backed by The Jack Ma Foundation (JMF) will officially open applications from 27th March 2019. The prize is worth US$10 million.

The Prize is expected to host a pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million in total prize money.  The Prize, which is supported by its continental partner Nailab, is focused on empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, with a focus on small businesses, grassroots communities and women-founded enterprises.

“The Netpreneur Prize Initiative has brought together a strong ecosystem of players to support both technology-driven and traditional businesses. We look forward to unveiling the full slate of regional partners and to receiving applications from promising African entrepreneurs in the coming weeks,” said Sam Gichuru, Founder and CEO, Nailab.

All ten finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices, and resources.

“By 2030, we hope to identify and shine a spotlight on 100 African entrepreneur heroes who will inspire the continent. From day one, our approach has been community-based and focused on inclusiveness; to be truly for Africans and by Africans. To realize these goals, we are excited to work with Nailab as our implementing partner in Africa and multiple African partners across to continent,” said Beth Yu, Executive Secretary-General, Jack Ma Foundation.

Core values of the Prize will be reflected in the application criteria including:

  1. Open to entrepreneurs who are nationals from any of the 54 African countries

  2. Open to all industry sectors

  3. Strongly encourage young people and female entrepreneurs to apply

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Key activities and dates for the prize are:

  1. Applications Launch:  27th March 2019

  2. Deadline for applications: 30th June 2019

  3. The announcement of the top 50 regional finalists: August 2019

  4. The announcement of the final 10 finalists: October 2019

  5. Grand Finale pitch event: November 2019

For more information about the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, please visit:

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