Business Heroes

Africa’s Business Heroes Competition 2021 by Jack Ma Foundation

Africa’s Business Heroes Competition (ABH) aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

The initiative aims to be as inclusive as possible. Applications are open in English and French to entrepreneurs from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages who operate businesses formally registered and headquartered in an African country, and that has a 3 year track record.

Every year, ten finalists will be selected to compete in the ABH finale pitch competition and participate in a TV Show that will be broadcast online and across the continent. The finalists will compete for a share of US $1.5 million in grant money.


  • Opportunity to pitch to business legends and receive advice from them.
  • All ten finalists win grant funds from $100,000 to $300,000.
  • International publicity via televised Africa’s Business heroes Show, press releases, news articles, TV/radio & print interviews.
  • Tailored Feedback, Mentorship & Training via Africa’s Business Heroes Network of Partners and Judges.
  • An online community of ABH Alumni, judges and key stakeholders that promotes peer learning, engagement and networking.


To apply for our competition, you should meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant should be …the Founder or a 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 primarily operates in Africa.
  • Company is …post-Idea stage. Business is 3 years old or more and has at least 3 years of revenue history.

Selection Criteria

To identify the heroes, the program runs a 4-step review 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 engage in a 1 hour and a half in-depth assessment of the company and finalist. The Top 20 Finalists will be determined by the average scores of all 50 Finalists.
  • Due diligence: The Top 20 Finalists will need to pass due diligence checks by a partner; Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) in order to move to the Semi-Finale round.
  • Semi-Final Pitch: The short-listed finalists will pitch to a panel of a distinguished and experienced panel of investors, business leaders and professionals who will determine our Top 10 Finalists.

How to Apply

If you meet the above criteria, follow the link below to apply for Africa’s Business Heroes Competition;

Click here to Apply

Deadline: 7th June 2021


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