Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is an annual televised competition that grants promising African entrepreneurs a share of a $1.5 million grant to further finance and grow their business. The competition is televised across Africa and is annually held in different countries across the continent.
And in fact, several Egyptians have won this prize before!
It was first launched in 2019 with a mission to support African businesses, and groom its future generations of entrepreneurs. Since then, the televised competition has held 4 editions and is back for its 5th edition this year.
So, let’s learn more about the competition and the $1.5 million grant it promises 10 of Africa’s most promising business figures.
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How did Africa’s Business Heroes Come to Be?
In 2017, famed Alibaba founder, Jack Ma visited Africa and was infinitely impressed with the business flair African entrepreneurs possessed; so much so that he decided to launch the competition under the auspices of his own foundation.
Later in 2019, Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) embarked on a mission to support African businesses, and groom its future generations of entrepreneurs with its first edition. Since then, the televised competition has held 4 editions and is back for its 5th edition this year.
The competition is televised across Africa and is annually held in different countries across the continent. And in fact, several Egyptians have won this prize before!
RiseUp: A Vessel for the MENA’s Unrivalled Startups
Among ABH’s outreach partners is RiseUp; the Egyptian organization that has served as the intersection point for creative minds and entrepreneurial tycoons for 10 years at its annual summit, RiseUp Summit. For the past 5 years, Rise Up has been ABH’s North Africa Anchor Partner and its gateway to some of North Africa’s most promising entrepreneurial minds; particularly in Egypt.
Throughout its 10-year presence, RiseUp has witnessed the exponential growth of some of Egypt’s trailblazing businesses, and realization of novel business models and ideas in its very own summit. And because of that, ABH has strategically chosen RiseUp as their partner to attract the most promising entrepreneurial candidates for the competition.
Which Egyptian Entrepreneurs Have Won the ABH Prize Before?
Jack Ma had once said that Egypt holds the position of the second largest country with ABH winners since the competition was first created. So, let’s get to know who they were.
Nadya Gamal El Din – 2022 Third Prize Winner
Founder and CEO of the educational motherhood platform; Rahet Bally, Gamal El Din was Procter & Gamble’s assistant brand manager prior to becoming a mother and realizing the evident educational gap mothers faced when raising their children. And from that need; came Rahet Bally; Egypt’s leading motherhood platform.
During the same year, there was also Top 10 Winner, Amena El-Saie; founder of Helm; a business that promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities.
Omar Sakr – 2019 Second Prize Winner
Founder of the first private multidisciplinary research center in Egypt catering for natural and medical sciences, Sakr is a tutor, public speaker, and undergrad university teacher since 2006. Nawah Scientific was launched in 2015 with the vision of gathering bright-minded scholars and scientists in the pursuit of providing world-class Egyptian research in the fields of natural and medical sciences.
Khadija Elbedweihy – 2021 Grand Prize Winner
As you can imagine, one of ABH’s Grand Prize Winners came with nothing short of unmatched innovation. And in 2021, it was Khadija Elbedweihy; founder of educational platform; PraxiLabs. Founded in 2015, PraxiLabs is an affordable and accessible virtual 3D science lab that can be used by educational institutions.
So, How Exactly is The Competition Organized?
The competition has 10 finalists & winners who will each get their share of the $1.5 million grant based on their final ranking. Aside from the highly motivating financial reward, the finalists will also get to access an expansive network of business leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs from all around Africa.
As for the competition’s sequence, it will be as follows:
- March – May 2023: ABH Application
Applications for this year’s ABH competition opened in March 2023 and will be closed on May 17th.
- June 2023: 1st Round of Applications Review
- July 2023: Top 50 ABH Candidates Announcement
By July 2023, ABH’s top 50 candidates will be announced. Following that, a second round of interviews will be conducted to announce the top 20 contestants shortly after.
- August 2023: Due Diligence
The short-listed finalists go through a rigorous due diligence executed PwC to assess their company’s assets, liabilities, and commercial potential in their respective industries.
- September 2023: Semi-Finale
Following that, candidates are then assessed by a distinguished panel of judges and business professionals representing several sectors and countries to ensure diversity in opinion and expertise. This same panel assesses the Top 20 candidates and then thoughtfully decide who the Top 10 finalists are.
- October 2023: Coaching & Mentorship
One of the many benefits of enrolling in the ABH competition is the infinite amount of knowledge and mentorship contestants would get as budding entrepreneurs; which would serve as a never-ending foundation for their leadership.
- November 2023: Grand Finale
This year’s top 10 ABH winners are announced and granted a share of the $1.5 million grant over a 10-year period.
Who Can Apply to Win Their Share of $1.5 Million?
Those who are interested to apply for this year’s ABH competition should:
- Be the founders or co-founders of an Africa-based company.
- Own a business that has operated for 3+ years.
- Be African citizens or have grandparents who are.
Contestants can send their application in either English or French and can be of any age or gender.
Feeling Motivated to Apply?
Well then, hurry up and send your application in before May 17th and apply here!
And if you’d like to learn more about the competition, head over here.