Search on for Africa's Jack Ma business heroes
The foundation said the competition, now in its second year, would award a pool of $1.5 million (R27.5m) in grant money to 10 finalists.
Applications were open to entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, as well as every sector, age group and gender. Applications would be available in French and English, it said.
Applications would be open online at africabusinessheroes.org until June 9. The semi-finalists would be announced in August, and the top 10 finalists for this would be announced in September.
The ANPI is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic programme in Africa, and aims to give entrepreneurs across Africa a platform to develop their talent and business ideas and inspire others to pursue entrepreneurship.
Ten finalists would be selected to compete in a pitch competition show that would be broadcast online and across the continent.
At this year’s grand finale, all 10 finalists will share a prize pool of $1.5m, up from $1m last year, as well as gain access to the ANPI community of business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practice, training and resources, the organisation said.
This year, the ANPI would work with a select group of anchor partners, including Ashesi, Dalberg, Janngo and RiseUp, to identify and support African entrepreneurs. The ANPI would partner with Pulse.Africa to highlight stories of African entrepreneur heroes. More partners will be announced in due course, it said.