Kenyan entrepreneur, Mr. Thomas Njeru, CEO and Co-Founder of Pula Advisors Limited, has clinched the second prize in the prestigious Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition 2023. This remarkable achievement places Kenya in the spotlight of entrepreneurial excellence across the African continent.

The Africa Business Heroes Prize Competition, celebrated for its commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent, marked its fifth anniversary this year. Sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, the competition witnessed an intense selection process from an overwhelming 27,267 applications across all 54 African nations.

The competition culminated in an Augmented Reality (AR) enabled Grand Finale in Kigali, Rwanda, where entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt emerged as the top three. The event, broadcast live globally, showcased the final pitching session of these outstanding entrepreneurs.

The Champions of African Entrepreneurship:

  1. First Prize: Dr. Ikpeme Neto from Nigeria, CEO and Founder of Wellahealth Technologies, won the top prize of US$300,000.
  2. Second Prize: Kenya’s pride, Mr. Thomas Njeru, received US$250,000 for his innovative work at Pula Advisors Limited.
  3. Third Prize: Mr. Ayman Bazaraa from Egypt, CEO and Co-Founder of Sprints, secured US$150,000.

These winners, selected through rigorous interviews and evaluations, have shown exceptional innovation and impact in their respective communities and beyond.

In addition to the top three, ten finalists each received US$100,000, with an additional US$10,000 allocated for post-competition training programs.

Celebrating Entrepreneurial Impact:

Dr. Ikpeme Neto, the first prize winner, expressed his gratitude and dedication to driving positive change through innovation in healthcare. The judges recognized the winners for their ability to transform challenges into opportunities and their unwavering commitment to societal betterment.

Jason Pau, Executive Director of International Programs at the Jack Ma Foundation, commended the winners for embodying ambition and innovation, emphasizing their role as champions of change.

The Grand Finale drew a global audience, with the top 10 finalists pitching to a panel of esteemed judges, including Dr. Diane Karusisi, Ibukun Awosika, and Joe Tsai.

The 2023 edition marked the 5th anniversary of the Africa Business Heroes Prize Competition. The two-day celebratory summit featured speeches, workshops, and showcases of past winners’ work, highlighting the transformative power of entrepreneurship in Africa.

Since its inception in 2019, the Africa Business Heroes Prize grant recipients have collectively raised over US$153 million, serving more than 37.5 million customers and creating over 123,000 jobs. Their combined revenue exceeds US$252 million, showcasing the significant socio-economic impact of entrepreneurship on the African continent.

The competition, known for its inclusivity and sector-agnostic approach, has gained immense global support. Over 903 volunteers have devoted more than 15,280 hours to judging, mentoring, and supporting thousands of contestants.

As the Africa Business Heroes Prize celebrates its fifth year, it reaffirms its commitment to identifying and supporting more African Business Heroes. This initiative continues to inspire millions with its grassroots orientation and the remarkable stories of African entrepreneurs. Read more about the achievements and history of the Africa’s Business Heroes in their 5th-year anniversary report.

Featured Image Caption:

L-R: ABH Grand Finale Judge Ibukun Awosika, Founder of The Chair Centre Group; ABH 2023 Second Prize Winner Thomas Njeru, CEO and Co-Founder of Pula Advisors Limited; ABH Grand Finale Judge Joe Tsai, Chairman of Alibaba Group; ABH 2023 First Prize Winner Dr. Ikpeme Neto, CEO and Founder of Wellahealth Technologies; ABH 2023 Third Prize Winner Ayman Bazaraa, CEO and Co-Founder of Sprints; ABH Grand Finale Judge Dr. Diane Karusisi, CEO of Bank of Kigali

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