Championing African Entrepreneurship: 2023 Africa's Business Heroes Summit and Grand Finale in Kigali with a Top 10 Finalist from Egypt

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Nov 2023

In the heart of Africa, a celebration of entrepreneurship is set to unfold in Kigali, Rwanda. The Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Summit and Grand Finale, organized by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, promises to be an event like no other.

Championing Entrepreneurship


Let's delve into what makes this year's edition particularly special and why you should mark your calendar for November 23rd and 24th.

Spotlight on African Entrepreneurs

The ABH Prize Competition is a beacon of hope for entrepreneurs across the continent. Launched in 2019, this philanthropic program aims to identify and elevate African entrepreneurs who are making a tangible difference in their communities. What's remarkable is that it's open to entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, regardless of age or sector.

Jack Ma, the visionary founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, was inspired by the vibrant energy and entrepreneurial spirit he encountered during his first trip to Africa in 2017. This led to the creation of the ABH program, with a commitment to support 100 African entrepreneurs over the course of 10 years. These entrepreneurs receive not only grant funding but also invaluable training and support to bolster entrepreneurship on the continent.

The 2023 Edition: A Milestone Celebration

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the ABH program, signifying the halfway point in its 10-year commitment to supporting African entrepreneurs. The 2023 edition boasts several remarkable features:

  1. Return to Physical Events: After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the 2023 ABH Summit and Grand Finale is a momentous return to physical events. This means the public can witness African entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas live to inspiring global business leaders.
  2. Record-High Applications: The year 2023 received an impressive 27,267 applications, the highest number since the program's inception in 2019. This surge reflects the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.
  3. Francophone Representation: Francophone countries accounted for 27% of all applications, the highest percentage in ABH's history, indicating a welcome surge in diversity and inclusivity.
  4. Kigali, Rwanda Host: The Grand Finale event will take place in the picturesque city of Kigali, Rwanda. It's expected to draw a substantial crowd of business legends, investors, influencers, well-wishers, and entertainers from across Africa, making this edition particularly special.

The Grand Finale: A Glimpse into the Event

The Africa's Business Heroes Grand Finale for 2023 is set to take place on November 23rd and 24th at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) in Rwanda. This two-day summit and grand finale will be attended by over 1,000 African entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem players from across the continent. Renowned African influencers, musicians, and entertainment icons will also be part of the extravaganza.

Attendance is free, but it's recommended to reserve seats promptly to secure a spot at this not-to-be-missed event.

Why Rwanda?

Rwanda's proactive stance towards entrepreneurship and its potential as an investment destination make it an ideal host for this year's Grand Finale. ABH chose Rwanda for its Africa Office, underlining the country's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship.

Unveiling the Immersive Stage

One of the highlights of this year's Grand Finale is the introduction of an incredible Augmented Reality (AR) experience. This immersive feature will provide a deeper insight into the businesses of the ABH heroes, right from the auditorium of the Kigali Convention Center.

Speakers and Performers: An Electrifying Lineup

Over 1000 African entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem players will converge at this year's ABH Summit and Grand Finale. The lineup of speakers is incredibly diverse, representing various facets of the entrepreneurial landscape. With 41 confirmed speakers, including 21 male and 20 female speakers, the event ensures a well-balanced gender representation. These experts, hailing from different backgrounds and regions, promise to deliver invaluable insights.

Sessions and Activities: A Whirlwind of Excitement

The two-day ABH Summit and Grand Finale promise a whirlwind of excitement. Attendees can expect a range of activities, from informative workshops to debates between experts, live pitch competitions, award ceremonies, and even an epic after-party celebrating the ABH 5th anniversary.

The Impact and Benefits: Empowering Entrepreneurs

The ABH Grand Finale is not just a celebration; it's an opportunity to forge collaborations and partnerships. Entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and business experts from across Africa and the world will come together, creating a platform for economic growth and innovation. Panel discussions, educational workshops, and keynote speeches from industry experts ensure that attendees leave with invaluable insights.

The Prize Pool: A Game-Changing Opportunity

A staggering $1.5 million is up for grabs at the 2023 ABH Grand Finale. The top 10 entrepreneurs, selected from over 27,000 applications, will pitch their innovative ideas to global business legends. The winner takes home $300,000, and even the top 10 finalists receive substantial grants, setting them on a path to further success.

A Celebration to Remember

In celebration of ABH's 5th Anniversary and mid-way mark, participants can look forward to a series of special announcements and events. From the release of a captivating Impact Report Coffee Book to the launch of the ABH Media Award, the celebration promises to be unforgettable.

Egypt's entrepreneurial spirit shines bright in Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition

Sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, the ABH competition is now in its fifth edition, celebrating the ingenuity, resilience, and passion of African entrepreneurs. Egypt, following Nigeria, boasts the second-largest number of finalists benefiting from the grant, with a total of six finalists up until 2023, emphasizing Egypt's remarkable presence in the ABH initiative. Noteworthy entrepreneurs like Nadia Gamal El Din, Founder and CEO of Rahet Bally, Amena Elsaie, Co-Founder of Helm Consulting, Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy, Founder of PraxiLabs, Dr. Omar Sakr, founder and CEO of Nawah-Scientific, and Waleed Abd El Rahman, CEO of Mumm, have all contributed to Egypt's impressive total winnings of USD 795,000, equivalent to over 24.5 million Egyptian pounds, further solidifying the nation's status as a thriving hub for entrepreneurial excellence.

Egypt's entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to thrive and impact the region positively. Meet Mr. Ayman Bazaraa, a shining star in Egypt's entrepreneurial landscape and one of the esteemed finalists in the 2023 Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition. As the remarkable CEO and Co-Founder of Sprints, an innovative startup making waves not only in Egypt but also across borders, Ayman leads a team dedicated to bridging the tech talent gap in the Middle East and Africa. Sprints is more than just a tech company; it's an end-to-end solution that stands out for its transformative impact.

Join Celebration

To all aspiring entrepreneurs, students, investors, and business enthusiasts in Rwanda, this event is tailored for you. Join us at the Kigali Convention Centre on November 23rd and 24th. Book your free ticket and be part of an extraordinary experience. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn, network, and thrive.

For more details on how to attend this event either physically or virtually please register here.


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