If you’re an entrepreneur in Africa and you’ve been working towards solving some of the problems being faced on the continent then 2019 might be your year. Ok, New Year’s cliché aside, if you enter the African Netpreneur Prize Initiative you could end up bagging a fair share to boost your business. Back in 2017, Jack Ma announced that he was working on a fund to support online businesses based in Africa and now it seems that program is finally being rolled out.
ANPI is an initiative meant to “recognize and support the youthful generation of African entrepreneurs, through whom the continent can achieve inclusion and prosperity.” Though the description is a bit vague we know for sure it will support internet based businesses since netpreneurs (as many would have guessed) are people who start an internet business.
Through this program, 10 netpreneurs will be selected annually for the next 10 years and they will share a prize pool of $10 million over the duration of the program.
The ANPI website doesn’t seem to specify which categories your business should belong to, it seems this is open to all kinds of internet businesses:
Echoing with the founder’s e-philosophy, the program seeks to support and fund African entrepreneurs that are working to tackle Africa’s challenges and further its digital economy through entrepreneurship. The program is also set to particularly focus on women empowerment and have a grassroots approach with the aim of advocating and encouraging the entrepreneurship spirit within young business leaders, striving to help build a youthful, digital and promising Africa.
The ANP website has a pretty brief outlay of the requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible;
- Young entrepreneurs
- Business must be registered in the country of operation in Africa
- Founders should be African nationals from any of the 54 African countries
Simple and straightforward. The only confusing bit will be the age part because some entrepreneurs may consider themselves 50 years young. Maybe there’ll need to be some clarity there otherwise everything else seems ok when it comes to eligibility.
Applications not open yet
I know most of you will be eager to sign up and go get ‘the bag’ but unfortunately, the applications are not open yet. They open in 12 days and will run until the end of April 2019. After the application process there’ll be a regional selection process that runs until the end of June, followed by a regional semi-final event and then the finals in “Winter/Fall 2019” which translates to November/December in Africa.
Does this have anything to do with Jack Ma’s visit to Victoria Falls last year? Well, we don’t know for sure but it is pretty cool that one of the world’s richest men and the founder of eCommerce giant, Alibaba has some vested interests in Africa…