The Jack Ma Foundation announced today it has officially launched the second edition of the\u00a0\u201cAfrica\u2019s Business Heroes\u201d (ABH) prize competition\u00a0with applications now open to African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, as well as every sector, age group, and gender. Applications will also now be available in both French and English. The ABH prize competition and the show are organized by the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), the Jack Ma Foundation\u2019s flagship philanthropic program in Africa. ABH made its debut last year, and aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. Every year, ten finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition show that will be broadcast online and across the continent. At this year\u2019s grand finale, all ten finalists will share a prize pool of US$1.5 million, up from $1 million last year, as well as gain access to the ANPI community of business leaders to leverage the community\u2019s shared expertise, best practice, training and resources. Last year, the prize received nearly 10,000 applications from 50 African countries. The 2019\u00a0top ten finalists\u00a0pitched their business ideas to a prominent judging panel\u00a0during a televised grand-finale show in Accra, Ghana. The finalists represented a variety of industries \u2013 including cloud kitchens, tech agribusiness, healthcare and pharma, e-commerce, consumer goods, and water supply solutions. \u201cIt was an incredible honour to be named Africa\u2019s Business Hero last year. The Prize enabled me to expand to multiple states in Nigeria and become a truly pan-Nigerian business, and I was truly inspired by my experience and by all my fellow winners. I am looking forward to serving as an Ambassador for this year\u2019s prize and to seeing the next group of entrepreneurs come forward to showcase the best of Africa\u2019s entrepreneurial spirit and strength,\u201d said\u00a0Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO,\u00a0LifeBank. \u201cWe find ourselves in unprecedented and extraordinary times. Now, more than ever, we need entrepreneurs with courage, initiative, and vision to do what they do best \u2013 solve problems for society.\u00a0With this prize competition, we are looking to inspire and reward African business heroes in all sectors and encourage any aspiring applicants to seize this opportunity to break through barriers and create hope for the future,\u201d said\u00a0Jason Pau, Senior Advisor for International Programs, Jack Ma Foundation. Global leaders Graca Machel, Chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary- General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens serve on the ANPI advisory board. Over a ten-year period, the ANPI will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to allocating US$100 million in grant funding, training programs, and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year, ANPI will work with a select group of Anchor Partners, including Ashesi,\u00a0Dalberg,\u00a0Janngo\u00a0and\u00a0RiseUp\u00a0to identify and support African entrepreneurs. ANPI will also partner with\u00a0Pulse. Africa to highlight stories of African entrepreneur heroes. More partners will be announced in due course. In addition, Anita Erskine, UN SDG Advocate and Founder of the STEM Woman Project join ANPI to serve as the official host of \u201cAfrica\u2019s Business Heroes\u201d program and Brand Ambassador.\u00a0Her advocacy for social good reflects the boldness, creativity and strength that the Prize will be looking for in their entrepreneur heroes. Applications will be open online from April 6th\u00a0to June 9th\u00a02020 with semi-finalists announced in August, and the top ten finalists for 2020 unveiled in September To apply and for more information about ANPI, please visit:\u00a0africabusinessheroes.org\u00a0and follow\u00a0@africa_heroes\u00a0on Twitter.