Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma to donate US$10 mln to establish Africa Entrepreneur Prize
(EBC; August 9, 2018) - Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma launched yesterday the Jack Ma Foundation ‘Netpreneur’ Prize, a new program created to support and fund African entrepreneurs who are working to address Africa’s most important challenges and further its digital economy through local entrepreneurship.
The prize was announced at the “Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions” conference.
The Netpreneur Prize – named for empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, and focusing on small business growth, grassroots innovation and women founders – will award US$10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.
Starting in 2019, the Jack Ma Foundation will host an annual pitch competition, with ten finalists selected from across the continent to showcase their talent and business ideas and compete for US$1 Million in prize money.
All ten finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices and resources.
Jack Ma decided to create the prize after his first trip to Africa in July 2017 when he was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.
While the competition will be open to entrepreneurs in all industries, Mr. Ma expects many of the applicants to be founders of businesses that are internet-driven given the open and inclusive impact technology can have on local economies.
Applicants must be African nationals leading mission-driven organizations.