Startimes acquire rights to air Jack Mas’ empowerment initiative

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Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma has set out to share his experience with Africa as well as financially support young entrepreneurs to build their own business empires.

The Billionaire is tailoring an event dubbed the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI).

The ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, created by Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017.

The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied.

Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative Finale Judges (from left to right) - Strive Masiyiwa, Jack Ma, Ibukun Awosika, and Joe Tsai (Photo: Business Wire)

“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. 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,” said Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation.

“Africa’s Business Heroes” will be televised in a two-hour special throughout Africa. The journeys of the finalists as well as their pitches and business insights from the judges will all be included in this exciting television event.

After months of judging and deliberation, the finalists were shortlisted and went on to pitch their business directly to four finale judges – Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. The winners will receive a share of the $1 million USD grant prize pool.

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