Applications open for Class 5 of Alibaba’s eFounders Fellowship


Startups from Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been invited to apply for Class 5 of the eFounders Fellowship, an initiative run by Alibaba and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to support African entrepreneurs succeed in the digital economy.

The eFounders Fellowship is part of a pledge by Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s executive chairman and a special adviser to UNCTAD on young entrepreneurs and small business, to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years.  

It provides selected startups with first-hand exposure to e-commerce and digital innovations, access to business leaders across Alibaba and China, and the opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.

Applicants should be “new economy” entrepreneurs building businesses designed for long-term success rather than short-term profit. Startups should have been in operation for at least two years, with founders below the age of 40.

Participants will learn about the key factors in Alibaba’s long-term success and the defining moments and failures that shaped its journey, and develop an understanding of Alibaba’s ecosystem.

Applications are open until March 17.


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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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