The Jack Ma Foundation is reporting that over 9,000 startups across Africa have applied for the Africa Netpreneur Prize whose application for entries closed on 30 June 2019. The organizers have also indicated that judging and shortlisting of startups has already begun.

Ma launched the Netpreneur Prize at an event hosted in Johannesburg on 8 August 2018 at which he stated that he is looking to empower Africa's digital startups.

"We shall shortlist the applicants to get the ten finalists who will be selected to participate in a finale competition to pitch before Jack Ma in November," said Sam Gichuru of Nairobi's Nailab.

The African startups that end up being selected from the list of over 9,000 of those that applied will have an opportunity to pitch to Jack Ma and win a share of the $1 million prize at the competition's final event in November 2019. Applying entrepreneurs had to be African nationals and also have been operating for at least three years. The finalists will be selected by a team of judges from the five regions representing the entire continent.

The ANPI is a flagship Β  initiative for the Jack Ma Foundation in Africa. Β  Jack Ma decided to create the prize after his Β  first trip to Africa in July Β  2017 when he was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential Β  of the young people he met. The competition is open to entrepreneurs from Β  across all countries of Africa to apply; and Β  from all industries, including traditional and tech. It puts a special focus Β  on small enterprises, female entrepreneurs, and those doing work to improve Β  local communities.

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