The recent Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) semifinal event in Kigali was a success. Twenty entrepreneurs pitched live before a panel of four highly esteemed and discerning judges who meticulously examined every facet of their business models and profitability. While some participants left the pitch sessions nervous, others left inspired to improve their business models in the hopes of advancing to the final stage.
Over the past five years, the Jack Ma Foundation and its Africa’s Business Heroes Team have shown remarkable improvement, particularly in the areas of identifying, mentoring, supporting, and funding exceptional African businesses throughout the continent. “I think we’ve gotten better … the Jack Ma Foundation and the Africa’s Business Heroes team have gotten better at sourcing candidates,” says Fred Swaniker, an ABH Judge. “I think that Africa’s wave of entrepreneurship is gaining more momentum.”
At this year’s semifinals, Ventures Africa spoke with some of the 20 contestants and a judge to grasp what it means to be a part of this prestigious competition. We have compiled select responses from these interviews into a podcast available on the VA Pod.
In this podcast, we interview Sunday Silungwe, CEO and Co-Founder of Zambia’s Good Nature Agro; Mostafa Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of Egypt’s iSpark; Funmi Adewara, CEO and Founder of Nigeria’s Mobihealthcare Ltd; Fred Swaniker, an ABH Judge; and Albert Munyabugingo, CEO and Co-Founder of Rwanda’s Vuba Vuba Africa Ltd. These entrepreneurs share their stories of impact, resilience, growth, and success.