Twelve Nigerian entrepreneurs were among the top 50 finalists for the 2021 Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition.
The ABH philanthropic programme for the Jack Ma Foundation in Africa announced its finalists for the year, who were selected from over 12,000 entries, and selected by a prestigious pool of 233 judges.
These 50 African entrepreneurs are in the running to win a share of $1.5 million in grant funding and will gain invaluable networking and learning opportunities throughout their ABH journey.
The 12 Nigerian entrepreneurs include; Adebowale Odulana, founder of Doctoora E-Health Limited; Ebinabo Ofrey, founder of GeroCare Solutions Limited; Oghenetega Lortim, founder of Gricd; Abiodun Adereni of HelpMum; Leslie Emenalo of Kobopay; and Yetunde Oyalowo of Market Doctors- Social Enterprise.
Others are Chidi Nwaogu of Publiseer; Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf Marketplace Nigeria Limited; Olagoke Balogun of So Fresh Neighbourhood Market Limited; Godwin Benson of Tuteria; Ige Atiba of Laughkord Consult and Resources Limited and Olorunishola Aje of Ideas in Fusion Limited.
“In the face of incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, Africa’s entrepreneurs have shown incredible resilience and innovation,” said Jason Pau, executive director of International of Jack Ma Foundation in a press statement by APO Group.
“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,” Pau said.
In this first round, the judges sought visionary entrepreneurs that provide innovative, robust solutions to problems in their communities.
They were focused on identifying passionate professionals that demonstrated exceptional work ethics, financial sustainability and growth potential.
Business diversity was also well-spaced, with sixteen different sectors represented including agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education, energy, environmental protection, financial services, F&B, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail and transportation.
The top 50 will participate in an ABH virtual boot camp to engage with and learn from business leaders as well as previous ABH winners.
The boot camp will prepare them for the next round of interviews with the Round 2 judges, after which the Top 20 will be identified and announced in August.
The top 10 will be announced in late September before they go on to the grand finale where they will pitch live to global business legends and secure their share of the $1.5 million prize pool.