The first grand finale edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) took place on the 16th of November 2019 featuring ten (10) finalists from across Africa which were awarded a cumulative sum of $1 million in prize money.
The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is a US$10 million Prize competition for African entrepreneurs, founded by the Jack Ma Foundation. Each year for the next ten years, the Prize will host a pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million in total prize money.
In this article, we will highlight these dynamic entrepreneurs who are achieving incredible feats across the African continent in their respective sectors.
Company: Founder and CEO, LifeBank
Profile: LifeBank works with hospitals round the clock to find lifesaving medical products and deliver to the hospitals in the right condition across Africa. They strongly believe that no African should die from a shortage of essential medical products at the hospital level and their mission is to solve this problem. The products they deliver include blood, blood products, oxygen and vaccines to hospitals across Africa. So far, they have moved 18650 products, served 913 hospitals, have 5738 donors and have saved 6256 lives.
Company: Founder and CEO, Nawah-Scientific
Profile: Nawah-Scientific is the first, private, multidisciplinary research center in Egypt catering for natural and medical sciences. Nawah is a core platform of high-tech research equipment that provides a multitude of services to the region through an online platform, a world-class caliber of scientists and a strong logistic network. Their business model democratizes research by enabling scientists, regardless of their location and lab facilities to step in and tackle meaningful research questions. So far, they have analyzed over 15000 samples, worked with 32 universities/companies and served customers in 9 countries.
Company: Founder, Water Access Rwanda
Profile: They are a social enterprise committed to eradicating water scarcity by providing appropriate technologies for durable access to water. Their mission and vision have guided them in providing clean water access to over 132,000 individuals, schools, business and farms in Rwanda and across the borders in DRC, Burundi and Uganda. Their services include borehole drilling, casing of shallow water wells, pump installation and maintenance and repair.
Company: CEO, Mumm
Profile: Mumm is an online platform connecting talented homebased cooks with hungry professionals to give them access to wholesome fresh homemade food from the homechef’s kitchen. They provide their services to numerous companies their testimonial boasts 100s of employees who trust and depend on them for their food. They pride themselves in timely, healthy and professional execution of their services.
Company: Co-Founder, Thrive Agric
Profile: At their core, Thrive Agric are a technology-driven agricultural company passionate about ensuring global food security. They obtain funds to support farmers from investors with the promise of decent returns at the end of each farming cycle. So far they have farmed over 127,000 acres, raised over 2,600,000 birds, produced over 170,000 Metric Tonnes of grains and worked with over 18,500 farmers.
Company: Founder and CEO, J-Palm
Profile: J-Palm Liberia works to empower smallholder oil palm processors in rural communities by providing access to modern, more efficient processing technologies. Their machines reduce processing time by 90% and extraction rates by 50-100%. In addition to creating access to more efficient palm oil processing mills, they use the kernel oil to create a range of beauty and clean energy products, including Kernel Fresh, their brand of health and beauty products made of Palm Kernel Oil. They are also working to create SuperCoal, which are smokeless and more energy-efficient charcoal briquettes made from palm kernel shells. So far, they have built a robust network of over 500 smallholder suppliers across 5 counties in Liberia, and have created over 50 jobs. On average, the small business owners they work with have seen their incomes grow by up to 260 percent!
Company: Co-founder and CEO, UZURI K&Y
Profile: UZURI K&Y is an African inspired shoe brand and manufacturer established in Rwanda since 2013. The company was founded by two women entrepreneurs (Kevine & Ysolde) who met at University while studying Creative Designs.Their mission is to craft sustainable solutions to recycle wastes into functional footwear. They aim to create viable solutions to recycle the tires in order to create functional footwear by also equipping the youth & women of Africa with skills to produce practical footwear out of rubber tires.
In addition to this, they have a social arm to their business and in 5 years they have made a direct impact on over 750 people through skills and employments by introducing our training program that targets young people and women in our community. They believe that practical knowledge increases their chances to real life jobs or even micro business creations that bring daily income. At least 100 pairs of shoes, made during the training program, are donated to less privileged children from Gahanga area schools.
Company: Founder, Black Swan
Profile: In 2018, USAID launched the second-annual Digital Development Awards (the “Digis”) to recognize USAID projects that harness the power of digital tools and data-driven decision making. The WeMUNIZE program was one of five winners chosen out of the 140 applicants. It is implemented by local technology start-up Black Swan Tech Ltd through USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program led by Jhpiego.
Faced with limited local record keeping and low levels of literacy and connectivity, the WeMUNIZE program uses a combination of digital record keeping and community engagement to increase early childhood immunizations. For families participating in the WeMUNIZE program, dropout rates have fallen to below 10 percent.
The project recruits primarily women for their team of trained volunteers and supports them with free mobile phones, empowering women to help their communities and overcome social barriers.
Thanks to its coordination with the Government of Nigeria, the project shares the immunization data generated to improve stakeholder coordination and transfers ownership to the state government to build local capacity.
Company: Co-founder, DrugStoc
Profile: They are a digital platform that exists to empower all healthcare providers fulfil their mandate for a healthier Africa. At DrugStoc they are constantly and tirelessly seeking ways to improve your access to pharmaceutical products and services. Healthcare service provision is already a tough endeavour within Africa and they work tirelessly to get rid of counterfeit drugs and the hassles of getting proper and good quality medication cheaply to clients. The have over 2,000,000 prescriptions served by their partners with ISO certified quality management, anti-counterfeit supply chain, a 24-hour delivery system and over 7000 products.
Company: Co-founder and CEO, Afrikrea
Country: Cote D’Ivoire
Profile: Afrikrea is a platform to discover, buy and sell fashion, art and crafts Made Of Africa around the world.
It is first of all an e-commerce site, which brings together creators, African or not, from all over the world and allows them to open a free online store to sell their creations. The platform therefore allows users to find in one place a variety of beautiful fashion pieces, art and crafts inspired by Africa. By playing the role of trusted third party, Afrikrea facilitates transactions and exchanges directly between buyers and sellers on both sides of the world, in a user-friendly and secure way.
Every business on this list brings its own uniqueness and vibrancy to the African entrepreneurship ecosystem. They all deserve to be winners and I wish them the best of luck as they continue to create jobs, generate revenue and effect positive changes in their communities and across the African continent.