Regional African partners announced for Jack Ma’s Netpreneur Prize


Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) has named NINE from Nigeria, RiseUp from Egypt, and 22 On Sloane from South Africa as additional regional partners to lead grassroots mobilisation in their regions.

Disrupt Africa reported last August on the launch of the Netpreneur Prize, aimed at empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs. The prize will see US$10 million in grant funding distributed by the Jack Ma Foundation to 100 entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.

Applications officially open on Match 27, and in advance of this ANPI has appointed three further regional partners to work alongside Kenya’s Nailab, the continental and East African partner, to promote the prize. They are Nigeria’s NINE, Egypt’s RiseUp, and South Africa’s 22 On Sloane.

These regional partners will mobilise aspiring entrepreneurs across the continent through grassroots outreach.

“We are excited to work with these reputable and mission-aligned partners who will help us bring the prize to all corners of Africa, as well as discover and spotlight a new generation of entrepreneurs from across the continent. Together with our partners, we will support both technology-driven and traditional companies with a special focus on small businesses, grassroots communities and women-founded enterprises,” Nailab founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Sam Gichuru said.

Graca Machel, chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and a member of the ANPI advisory board, said the regional partners will help support the prize’s inclusive and community-based approach, and praised its strong focus on female entrepreneurs.

“There are so many undiscovered entrepreneurial heroes, women and men alike, who once unearthed can become game-changers of the African entrepreneurship landscape. I am happy the Africa Netpreneur Prize has decided to make women a priority,” she said.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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