By Samuel Ouma
Five regions of Africa, North, West, South, East and Central, are all represented in the currently announced top 50 finalists for the 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition prize competition.
The Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition is the flagship philanthropic initiative run by the Jack Ma Foundation, aimed at identifying, supporting, and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors who make a difference in their local communities through solving the most pressing problems, building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent.
In this year’s top 50 finalists, the East Africa region produced six countries more than any other region. The entrepreneurs are from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Rwanda.
After East, there is West and Southern Africa with four countries each. The former is represented by entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire, while the latter has South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar.
Two entrepreneurs from Egypt represent the northern part of the continent. The two are Amena Elsaie of Helm Ltd and Khadija Mohamed Elbedwe (PraxiLab).
The central Africa region is represented by one entrepreneur from the DRC. Daniel Makombe, 23, the founder of the Valorigo company, is known for producing sanitary pads using grown bamboo.
These 50 African entrepreneurs are running to win a share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding and gain invaluable networking and learning opportunities throughout their ABH journey.
“In the face of incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, Africa’s entrepreneurs have shown incredible resilience and innovation. The top 50 of the 2021 ABH competition are a true testament to this, and we are excited to support these talented entrepreneurs as they continue to grow and generate positive impact,” said Jason Pau, the Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation.