Ikenna Nzewi – Co-founder and CEO, Releaf (Nigeria) and Navalayo Osembo-Ombati – Co-founder and CEO, Enda Athletic (Kenya) came second and third and were rewarded with $250,000 and $150,000 respectively.
The other finalists will each receive $100,000 in prize funding, and additional $10,000 will be allocated to each finalist for a training program to be hosted in Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
- Ghirmay Abraham – Founder, Aptech Africa (Uganda)
- Oghenetega Iortim – Founder, Gricd (Nigeria)
- Yvette Ishimwe – Founder and CEO, IRIBA Water Group (Rwanda)
- Charlot Magayi – Founder and CEO, Mukuru Clean Stoves (Kenya)
- Chidi Nwaogu – Co-founder and CEO, Publiseer (Nigeria)
- Violet Amoabeng – Founder and CEO, Skin Gourmet (Ghana)
- Ketshephaone Jacob – Founder and CEO, The Bulb World (Botswana)
“I’m very humbled to be named Africa’s Business Hero. This competition has been an incredible journey. I have learnt important lessons from each judge and from my fellow talented entrepreneurs. I hope that this win inspires many young Africans to believe, that we have what it takes to make an impact where we are.
“It has been a challenging year for many businesses, but challenges are key to build our resilience. PraxiLabs is solving pressing issues around education and training, and we will remain focused and determined to change how Africa learns and teaches science, one virtual lab at a time,” said the winner, Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy, Founder at PraxiLabs.
“This is the third time I have been a Grand Finale judge for the Africa’s Business Heroes competition, meeting many exceptional business women and men from across Africa. Each year, I’m struck by their sheer talent and the commitment to developing creative, innovative solutions to the challenges we face on the continent. It truly is “Africa’s time” and these outstanding entrepreneurs are the ones who embody its future of growth and relevant solution-based innovation,” said Ibukun Awosika, Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group.
Besides Ibukun Awosika, the other judges for the finals were: Victor Williams, NBA Africa CEO; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group.
This year, over 12,000 applications were received from all 54 countries in Africa. The finalists were chosen after several rounds of rigorous evaluation conducted by over 230 judges. They were selected after demonstrating that they are visionary entrepreneurs who embodied innovation, resilience, growth potential and impact on Africa.
Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is a flagship philanthropic programme established by the Jack Ma Foundation to help foster an inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.
The annual competition, now in its third year, shines a spotlight on talented African entrepreneurs who are working to make a difference in their communities and helping to build a more sustainable, inclusive future. The ABH competition is grassroots oriented as well as age, gender, language and sector agnostic.