The Africa Business Heroes 2022 Competition for Young African Entrepreneurs ($1.5 million prize)

The Jack Ma Foundation Africa Entrepreneurial Heroes Competition 2021 for young African entrepreneurs

Application Deadline: June 26, 2022

African 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 that is creating a positive impact in their communities and beyond, and to inspire an African entrepreneurship movement. Over a ten-year period, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grants, training programs and broader support to the broader African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Africa’s Business Heroes directly supports talented and up-and-coming African entrepreneurs through its namesake prize competition. Each year, the Prize selects ten “business heroes” from across Africa who compete for their share of $1.5 million in grants. During the competition, participants also have exclusive access to training, mentoring and learning programs, as well as a community of like-minded African business leaders.

eligibility requirements

To apply for the ABH competition, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be… the founder or co-founder of the company.
  • The applicant has… African citizenship or is the child or grandchild of an African citizen.
  • The Company is…registered and headquartered in an African country and operates primarily in Africa.
  • The company is in a post-idea stage and has at least 3 years of revenue.


  • ABH Finalists receive invaluable training, mentorship, and the opportunity to network with ABH’s growing community of talented and inspiring minds. ABH Finalists will present their business to a global panel of legendary judges to win a share of the $1.5 million (USD) prize. All applicants become part of the ABH Community where they have access to exciting, educational and inspirational events and will receive feedback on completed and eligible applications.
  • Learn about you and your business
  • Receive invaluable feedback
  • Develop skills to tell your story
  • Join an entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Access exclusive tutorials and training
  • Gain global recognition and exposure
  • Talk to business legends and win your share of $1.5 million
  • 1St. Prize Winner: $300,000
  • twoNorth Dakota Prize Winner: $250,000
  • 3dr Prize Winner: $150,000
  • Other Top 10 Finalists (7): $100,000
  • Global Immersion Program (Hangzhou, San Francisco, Southeast Asia): $100,000


To identify our heroes, ABH runs a 4-step application process.

round 1

  • An online review of submitted applicants to determine our top 50 finalists.
  • Each application will be reviewed by two judges.
  • The top 50 finalists will be determined by the average scores of all applications.

    round 2

  • Video call interviews with two established business leaders who participate in an in-depth 1.5 hour evaluation of the company and the finalist.
  • The top 20 finalists will be determined based on the average scores of the 50 finalists.

    Due diligence

  • The top 20 finalists will need to pass due diligence checks by ABH partner Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to advance to the semi-final round.
    Semi Final Launch
  • The shortlisted finalists will be presented to a distinguished and experienced panel of investors, business leaders and professionals who will determine the top 10 finalists.

For more information:

Visit the official website of Africa Business Heroes Competition 2022

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