Applications Are Now Open For The Fifth Edition of Africa’s Business Heroes Competition 2023
Africa’s Business Heroes competition (ABH), a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba philanthropy has opened applications for entrepreneurs in Africa to apply.
ABH is part of the Jack Ma Foundation’s long-term commitment to helping support and foster an inclusive and strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. African entrepreneurs from all sectors who operate businesses formerly registered and headquartered in an African country, with three years of proven track records can apply.
Speaking on the opening of the fifth edition of Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH), the head of partnerships and programs Zahra Baitie-Boateng disclosed that the ABH is extremely impressed with the diversity of different entrepreneurs and how they have been taking tangible steps to solve some of the problems ravaging the African continent.
In her words, “At ABH, we have long recognized the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of economic and social growth. Now in the fifth year of the competition, we are encouraged to see that ABH has grown into a truly Pan-African initiative that is positively impacting the continent’s entrepreneurship landscape. We are extremely impressed with the increasing diversity of our Heroes and how they’ve been taking tangible steps to solve some of Africa’s most challenging issues”.
She, therefore, urged entrepreneurs from all countries, especially those from smaller countries, to seize the opportunity of ABH 2023 to tell and inspire millions more with their unique stories. Entrepreneurs from all levels of society are encouraged to submit their applications, in either English or French, for a chance to become one of the top 10 finalists to compete for a share of $ 1.5 million in grant money.
Check out the requirements/Criteria for the competition
- You must be an African citizen or the direct descendant of an African citizen.
- You are a founder or co-founder.
- Your company is registered and headquartered in an African country.
- Your company has market traction and at least 3 years of revenue.
Benefits Applicants Stand to Gain
- Receive invaluable feedback
- Develop skills to tell your story
- Join an entrepreneurship ecosystem
- Gain global recognition & exposure
- Access exclusive mentorship and training
- Pitch to business legends and win your share of USD 1.5 million
At the grand finale, 10 finalists will take the stage to present their businesses to a panel of legendary businesspeople. The journey to the final will also include access to a community of international business leaders and innovators, industry experts, investors, and accelerators, as well as multi-disciplinary boot camps and training sessions to help the participating entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
Applications are now open online until May 12, 2023, with the top 50 candidates announced in July, semi-finalists announced in August and the top 10 finalists unveiled in September. Applicants can check Africa’s Heroes Website to apply.
Investors King understands that to date, over 72 000 entrepreneurs across the continent have participated in the ABH Prize Competition.
Nigeria’s EFCC Arrests Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, Founder of Kloud Commerce
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken Dr. Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, the founder of Kloud Commerce, into custody, according to sources.
The EFCC officers reportedly detained Olusanya on Monday while he was in the middle of a meeting at the Lekki offices of Gloopro, one of the business ventures he led. Olusanya’s previous startup, Gloo.ng, was also shut down.
Investors have alleged malfeasance and deceptive practices by Olusanya, who they claim provided false updates on the growth of Kloud Commerce. At least 18 institutional and individual investors had provided capital to the now-shuttered startup.
Former executives and employees who worked with Olusanya at Kloud Commerce had described him as an abrasive founder who presented a positive picture to investors despite scarce progress while continuously demotivating the team he had assembled.
Kloud Commerce had raised USD 765 K in pre-seed funding in 2021 to develop a multi-channel commerce solution for African businesses, starting in Nigeria. However, the startup closed its doors a year later after a prolonged period of questionable management and disputes that left the company crippled for several months.
At the time of publishing this report, Olusanya remains detained, and further clarification on the matter is still pending.
The situation serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in the startup ecosystem, where trust and credibility are vital factors for attracting investors and customers.
Tony Elumelu Funded Entrepreneurs Generated $2.3 Billion Revenue in 8 Years
Entrepreneurs trained and funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have generated a combined $2.3 billion in revenue in the last 8 years, according to the Foundation.
In a brochure made available at the 60th birthday celebration of Tony Elumelu, the founder of TEF and Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), TEF has trained about 1.5 million African entrepreneurs since launched 13 years ago.
The Foundation has also disbursed $100 million in seed capital to over 18,000 entrepreneurs across the African continent, with 25% of the beneficiaries getting additional investments to expand their businesses.
Since its establishment, over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created by TEF entrepreneurs with female-owned businesses creating 58% of the total jobs.
The Foundation explained that it increased women’s employment to 52% from 24% in 2015 and has empowered more than 7,000 women with 85% of those women leading their businesses.
Speaking on its ability to reach entrepreneurs across the African continent, the Foundation said, “The robust ability of the foundation to reach entrepreneurs across geographies and sectors has enabled it to conduct innovative partnerships with the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Government via the United States African Development Fund and others with bespoke programmes including targeting female empowerment and growth in fragile states.”
On his part, Tony Elumelu said “I engage public and private sector players across my world. My message is always simple; let us partner on poverty alleviation, job creation and women’s economic empowerment in Africa.”
Investors King understands that Elumelu holds about 7% or 2.3 billion shares in United Bank for Africa and another 2.1% stake in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria.
In a Facebook post in January 2023, the CEO of the defunct Standard Bank had attributed his early success to hard work and luck, adding that the two variables are imperative in success.
He said “I owed my accelerated career and successes to two things: hard work and luck, and I know firsthand how these factors are inextricable in success.”
“My successes – and yes failures – have always driven me to create opportunities for young people. I believe that our young have the talent and the zeal to transform our world.”
TLG Capital Partners One Pipe, Provides N2.25 billion Collateralized Credit Facility to Expand Operations
Private investment firm which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa TLG Capital has closed a N2.25 billion deal with One Capital, a startup that powers digital financial services, to expand its operations.
The deal which had reportedly been in the works since the third quarter of last year will power One capital’s inventory finance solution for small businesses.
Speaking on the investment made to One Pipe, investment professional at TLG Isaac Marshall said, “Despite contributing $220 billion per year in economic activity, micro-enterprises that deal in cash are Nigeria’s most neglected business segment. Fintechs tend to prefer more digitally integrated clients and traditional financiers tend to prefer bigger clients.
“With a clever product to help these small shops to obtain both credit and better purchasing terms on their goods, OnePipe has pioneered a model that can provide sustainable income growth to tens of millions of micro-enterprises.”
This investment will enable OnePipe to grow its business and work towards its goal of being Nigeria’s top supplier of financial services to small businesses. Its partnership with several banks and fintech has provided the startup with the underlying infrastructure.
OnePipe helps organizations integrate financial services within their value chains to create customer loyalty & improve overall business operations. Since its launch in 2018, OnePipe has raised at least $9.2 million.
Investors King understands that the Techstars-backed company is one of the African companies that has also garnered the support and partnerships of several banks and businesses. This includes, Flutterwave, Quickteller, Fidelity Bank, Migo, Polaris Bank, SunTrust Bank, Providus Bank, Paystack, and Quickteller.
The startup was also exposed to the fall of Silicon Valley Bank; with about $829,000 in the bank which represented 70% of their cash position. Onepipe’s funding announcement also comes as the company has laid off about 20% of its employees, as it seeks to navigate the current economic downturn and adjust to the macroeconomic headwinds.
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