The Jack Ma Foundation has announced that its initiative to support entrepreneurs in Africa, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) will officially start the call for applications starting from 27th March 2019. The ANPI is a US$10 million Prize competition for African entrepreneurs that was launched in August 2018 in partnership with Nailab.

ANPI will take place over a period of 10 years and each year it will host a pitch competition in Africa. 10 finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million in total prize money. The initiative is focused on empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, with a focus on small businesses, grassroots communities and women-founded enterprises.

The finalists will be selected by a team of judges from five regions representing the entire continent. Applications for the first pitch competition will be open from 27th March 2019 until 30th June 2019. The finalist pitch competition will be held in November 2019. All 10 finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders. The program will be offered across the continent through lead continental partner, Nailab, and other regional hub partners.

The prize is open to entrepreneurs who are nationals from any of the 54 African countries. It is also open to all industry sectors.

The key activities and dates for the Africa Netpreneur Prize 2019 are:

  • Applications Launch: 27th March 2019
  • Deadline for applications: 30th June 2019
  • Announcement of the top 50 regional finalists: August 2019
  • Announcement of the final 10 finalists: October 2019
  • Grand Finale pitch event: November 2019