The Prize will host a grand finale pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for a share of US$1 million in total grant prize money.
After seven months and nearly 10,000 applications, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative has chosen the 10 finalists for the competition‘s grand finale event in Accra, Ghana, next month.
The remaining 10 contestants are hailing from Egypt, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda and Cote D’Ivoire will make their final pitches during the Nov. 16 taping of “Africa’s Business Heroes,” a televised event scheduled to air Nov. 29 in countries across Africa.
“We launched the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative to identify top entrepreneurs from across the continent, not only to reward them but to inspire a whole new generation of potential game changers for Africa,” Ma said in a release.
“I have been inspired by the entrepreneurs I met in Africa, many of whom are dealing with the same challenges we faced when we started Alibaba years ago. I truly believe the potential of Africa’s business heroes is limitless,” he said.
The Last 10 Finalists of the competition
Thrive Agric is an agricultural technology enabled company that works with smallholder farmers to enable them with greater access to finance, as well as improve their income and harvest distribution. Today, Thrive Agric works with 22,000 farmers in Nigeria, but is aiming to build the largest network of farmers in Africa.
DrugStoc is a cloud based pharmaceutical IT and logistics platform focused on eliminating counterfeit drugs, expanding access to pharmaceutical products and improving transparency in pricing for healthcare providers and the product supply chain.
Water Access Rwanda pioneered INUMA, a Safe Water Microgrid that reclaims broken boreholes and transforms them into state of the art solar-powered water kiosks and pipelines. The water is sold for $1/1000L and creates off-farm jobs for youth. Currently, Water Access Rwanda employs 68 people, and allows 47,612 customers access water daily across 86 stations.
WeMUNIZE by Black Swan Tech Ltd is helping to solve Nigeria’s public health challenges by deploying an automated scheduling, GPS enabled Software as a service that uses a combination of digital record keeping and community engagement to increase birth registration and early childhood immunizations. Black Swan is working with USAID Nigeria to expand WeMUNIZE coverage in northern Nigeria.
UZURI K&Y is an African inspired ecofriendly shoe brand established in Rwanda. UZURI has made a direct impact on more than 750 people through employment and skills training.
J-Palm Liberia (JPL) was founded with the goal to make premium consumer goods while creating income earning and employment opportunities through sustainable palm oil production. Today, JPL has created a range of beauty and clean energy products, built a robust network of partnerships across the country, and helped to create jobs for hundreds of Liberians.
Afrikrea.com is the leading “Made of Africa” fashion, art and handicraft online marketplace. The marketplace has processed more than $4 million in sales across 101 countries and supports merchants from all over the world.
Nawah Scientific is the first private research center in the MENA region, focused on natural and biomedical sciences, that offers analytical and scientific services online and on demand.
LifeBank is a medical distribution company that uses data and technology to help health workers discover critical medical products, and has saved over 5,300 lives in Nigeria.
Mumm is a virtual cafeteria for businesses, harnessing the power of shared economy through technology, cloud kitchens and an online marketplace for home-based entrepreneurial cooks.
The $1 million Prize
Just how much of the $1 million prize pool they receive will depend on four judges: Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, Econet Group founder and Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, First Bank of Nigeria Chairman and The Chair Centre Group founder Ibukun Awosika and Alibaba Group Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai. The Netpreneur Prize is the latest initiative by Ma to foster and develop entrepreneurial talent in Africa.