Calling all business heroes: Dalberg partners with the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative to support entrepreneurship in Africa

As an anchor partner for ANPI’s Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition, Dalberg will help companies take on new skills and build resilience during the COVID-19 crisis.

Across Africa, entrepreneurs are working to generate jobs and build wealth. The businesses they create both generate employment opportunities and lay the foundation for how economies operate. But more support for the entrepreneurial ecosystem is needed in the form of funding, training, and access to resources. And as businesses start to take flight and thrive, a brighter spotlight on the men and women who are behind them could help to encourage others on the same path.  

The Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) – the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa – exists to help meet some of the needs. ANPI aims to give entrepreneurs across the continent a platform to develop their talent and business ideas. It also serves to inspire others who are starting out or considering an entrepreneurial journey. 

Dalberg and the Africa Business Heroes competition

Organized by ANPI, the Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition will award a pool of US$1.5 million in grant money to ten finalists. The competition is open to entrepreneurs across all sectors and African countries, and has a special focus on those building up their local communities and working to solve the most pressing problems. Dalberg serves as an Anchor Partner for the initiative, responsible for enhancing companies’ preparedness for the application process and helping entrepreneurs build business resilience during the COVID crisis. 

In 2019, the Africa Business Heroes competition’s inaugural year, ~10,000 applications from 50 African countries were received. Applications for the 2020 edition opened on April 6 and close on June 9, 2020.

Helping entrepreneurs weather COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on African entrepreneurs, including the high-potential entrepreneurs applying to the Africa Business Heroes competition. As the pandemic evolves, Dalberg is committed to providing access to tools that will help them respond to challenges and build the capabilities that will allow them to stay the course during the crisis and beyond. 

To this end, in conjunction with the Africa Business Heroes application period, Dalberg will host a series of four webinars aimed at helping entrepreneurs from all over Africa submit their Africa Business Heroes entries, with a focus on weathering the storm of COVID-19 (full schedule below). These interactive sessions are designed to share real world experiences on developing winning pitches for the competition and beyond. 

In addition, on May 4, 2020, Dalberg will host the ‘Building SME Resilience in Africa’ webinar, which will convene some of the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders to share their learnings and provide begin collaborating on how high-potential entrepreneurs adapt to COVID-19.

The webinar schedule includes:

West Africa- Dakar: 21 April, 13:00 CAT: “Démontrer la valeur exceptionnelle de votre entreprise + How to become a 2020 ANPI Business Hero” Webinar (French)”

#Africasbusinessheroes #lookingforheroes

Southern Africa- Johannesburg: 24 April, 17:00 CAT: “The Winning Pitch + How to become a 2020 ANPI Business Hero Workshop” Webinar

East Africa – Kigali: 08 May , 16:00 CAT: “Business Owner Journeys + How to become a 2020 ANPI Business Hero” Webinar

West Africa- Nigeria: 21 May, 17:00 CAT “‘Entrepreneurship in the Age of COVID-19 + How to become a 2020 ANPI Business Hero”

All Africa: 04 May, 17:00 CAT: “Entrepreneurial Resilience during COVID- 19: How Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs can adapt, survive, and thrive” webinar

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