Jack Ma Establishes a $10 Million Prize to Support Young African Entrepreneurs

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Jack Ma announced on August 8 the establishment of the Africa Netpreneur Prize to encourage young Africans to start their own businesses. 800 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers and policymakers witness the launch of prize at the “Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions” conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

According to Alizilia, the prize was announced at the “Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions” conference in Johannesburg, with 800 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers and policymakers at presence.

The prize, funded by the Jack Ma Foundation, a charitable organization initiated by Jack Ma in 2014, will give $10 million to support 10 young African entrepreneurs every year in the next decade with a vision to achieve more employment and economic growth for young people in Africa.

The most important thing for Africa is job creation, and the best way to create jobs is to encourage small businesses, and to trust young people,

said Jack Ma at the ceremony.

Jack Ma
Jack Ma. Image Source: Alizila.

The prize will put emphasis on the development of small enterprises, grassroot innovation and female entrepreneurs in Africa. It will award one million dollars in total every year to 10 entrepreneurs who must win an annual contest in the fall. The first batch of prizes will be given out in 2019. Apart from the money incentives, Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group will also provide relevant resources including training, mentoring, platforms and follow-up support.

“Last year, I took my first trip to Africa. When I came, I thought I had come too late. Why didn’t I come ten years ago? Africa is a continent full of opportunities,” said Ma. He expressed his expectations for Africa during the announcement ceremony.

According to the Fortune magazine, Jack Ma topped the list of China’s biggest philanthropists in 2014, with the total amount donated to his charitable trust reaching $2.4 billion. His newest move in Africa takes place against the backdrop of China’s increasing amount of cooperation with African countries.

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