The 2020 Africa Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition, a flagship philanthropic program established by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), has shortlisted the top 20 finalists competing for a spot at this year’s finale. The twenty entrepreneurs who were shortlisted from the 50 impressed the panel of high-profile judges, and now will compete where only ten entrepreneurs will be selected for the grand finale for a chance to win a share of US$1.5 million prize.
Among the twenty shortlisted entrepreneurs are two Ugandans; Emmaunel Naluyima of MST Junior School, and Joan Rukundo Nalubega of Uganics Repellents Ltd. It is worth knowing prior the selection of the 20, Uganda had four representatives in the 50 selection.
MST Junior School is an innovation that strives to create a learning environment that is child-centered, child developmental, skills focused, international in perspective, engaging, active and critical. Its ways of working are democratic and decentralized.
Uganics Repellents Ltd sells organic mosquito repellent products with high margins to resorts, lodges and high-end hotels to tourists looking for a natural way of preventing mosquito bites during their trips. They are able to cross finance and subsidize sales to rural mothers at the same price as ordinary soap. The impact is leveraging an everyday consumer product to fight malaria.
These top 20 entrepreneurs have come a long way from the pool of over 22,000 applications that ABH garnered from all 54 African nations earlier this year. The level of female representation is significant (55%) and the average age of the group is 34.
They represent 11 key sectors and industries of the African economy, such as agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, manufacturing, e-commerce, renewable energy, financial services, food & beverage services, retail, transportation, and span 14 countries (Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe).
On August 18th, the top twenty Africa’s Business Heroes finalists had the opportunity to participate in a second virtual bootcamp, a unique event to exchange and learn from inspiring personalities from the African entertainment, sports and entrepreneurship scene.
These included Anita Erskine, UN SDG Advocate and ANPI’s Brand Ambassador and Official Host of “Africa’s Business Heroes” program; NBA Hall of Fame inductee and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo; Sean Tong, Partner at Boyu Capital Advisory and Jack Ma Foundation’s Board Member; and the top three finalists from last year’s debut edition of ABH, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Omar Sakr and Christelle Kwizera.
Candidates now progress to the semi-final stage of the competition, to face even more intense scrutiny from the jury, which will test the solidity of their business plans, their motivation and vision, and ability to clearly articulate why the ground-breaking nature of their ideas can solve pressing problems and catalyze change for society, inspiring others to do the same.
The final 10 will be announced in September 2020.