Who will be Africa’s Business Heroes this year?…Study to do, and next year it could be you! – By Strive Masiyiwa

I am really looking forward to being a finalist judge again in this year’s 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition hosted by the Jack Ma Foundation for entrepreneurs of all ages across our continent. It’s almost showtime now for ten finalists from eight African countries who will pitch to win in the next few days…. This year it will all be online of course, and the prize money is now a total of $1,5m!!
There’s also a part for all of you on this platform to play here if you hurry because there’s a “People’s Choice” Award competition where you can be a judge, too, and vote for your favourite finalist. I want you as entrepreneurs to study the links and decide who YOU would invest in and think about why? A very good friend of mine will be giving out the People’s Choice Award to the Top 3 finalists with the most votes when the time comes… But shhh, I am not allowed to say who that is yet.
Here are the 10 finalists for 2020:
# Abdulai A. Dasana, Co-Founder & COO of Amaati Company Limited from Ghana (production and marketing of indigenous, drought-resistant, highly nutritious crop called Fonio)
# Ethel Mupambwa, Co-Founder & CEO of Moneymart Finance from Zimbabwe (microfinance venture focused on SMEs and providing solar lighting offgrid solutions)
# Axel Gbaou, CEO & Founder of Le Chocolatier Ivorien, from Côte d’Ivoire (Africa grown, handcrafted quality chocolate products for local and export markets)
# Mame Diarra Bousso Gueye, CEO & Founder of Diararblu, in Senegal (fashion tech company merging African traditions and technology)
# Dr Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, Founder of MST Junior School, in Uganda (provides modern innovative farming training in addition to a STEM curriculum)
# Cyrille Nkontchou, Founder & Chairman of Enko Education, from Cameroon (network of private schools across Africa that teach International Baccalaureate curriculum)
# Chebet Lesan Founder & CEO of BrightGreen Renewable Energy in Kenya (fuel bricks made from post-harvest waste, with patent-pending mosquito repellent)
# Aboubakar Karim, CEO & Founder of Investiv in Côte d’Ivoire (innovative tech-enabled precision drones for use in agricultural mapping and spraying)
# Oluwasaga Oni, CEO & Co-Founder of MDaas Global, in Nigeria (modern, tech-enabled diagnostic centers offering services at affordable prices)
# Joan Rukundo Nalubega, CEO & Founder of Uganics in Uganda (production and sales of life-saving organic mosquito-repelling soap)
To VOTE and for more info, the links are here: https://africabusinessheroes.org/en/peopleschoice.  You can also do your own online research.  Hurry because the deadline  is very soon!
The way this year’s ABH competition will work is the 10 finalists will each have six minutes to pitch and we four judges have 14 minutes to ask them questions.  We will then choose the top 4 to compete in a shark tank-like session where we’ll sit down with each of them (virtually ) and ask the hard questions…
Some of what we’ll look at will be what we have talked about here: 1) the problem/need their business tackles, 2) the entrepreneur’s solution, 3) market traction so far, 4) the financial and revenue model, 5) the team and 6) future growth plans. We’ll also look at the mission, values and vision of the company. You can see their businesses are all very different!
The finale is going to be broadcast across Africa and the world in January 2021.
At Sasai we will also be sharing this amazing content with you. Stay tuned!
I know many of you have already studied the ABH 2019 pitches there. Sasai has done some incredible work putting together exciting shows like last year’s amazing #Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative content that entrepreneurs like you can study and learn from. We’re making them all available on Sasai #Watch and #Podcasts.
Whether you are in the #SeniorClass or the #JuniorClass I am counting on you to take the time to review these 10 finalists.
Each finalist on stage this year will win at least $100k, with the first prize winner taking home $300K!
So why don’t YOU sit in the shark tank seat: do your research and decide what you “see” based on what I have shared with you here on this platform for the past several years.
What questions would you ask each of them to decide the winner? It’s now time for you to study and to do.
Let’s talk.

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