African Diaspora Network hosts the sixth annual Builders of Africa’s Future Awards!
Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) celebrates innovation and impact in early-stage African enterprises. The program identifies African entrepreneurs running early-stage nonprofits or for-profit businesses that address key community needs through technology or differentiated business models.
The goal is to help scale their ventures and impact in the areas of health, education, energy, agriculture, financial inclusion, gender inclusion, nutrition, commerce, industrial development, and other socioeconomic goods.
We take immense pride in our ongoing commitment to empower the Builders of Africa's Future, and we are particularly thrilled to see Catholic Sisters shine brightly among the accomplished changemakers of the 2023 cohort.
The Builders of Africa's Future program not only highlights the potential of African entrepreneurs but also celebrates the invaluable contributions of Catholic Sisters in driving meaningful change within their communities. We look forward to the exciting journey ahead as we support these visionary leaders in their mission to transform lives and create lasting impact
Sr. Jane WakahiuAssociate Vice President of Program Operations and Head of Catholic Sisters at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Elevating the Rising Stars of African Entrepreneurship
The BAF program annually awards 10 to 15 of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs with enterprise development training, mentorship and networking opportunities, and a platform to boost brand visibility and investment potential in Silicon Valley. Since 2018, Builders of Africa’s Future has recognized and catalyzed 53 African startups.
Who are the Builders?
Eligibility Criteria: Who are the Builders?
Founders and executives of companies contributing to the well-being of communities across the continent are the Builders of Africa’s Future. These leaders are catalysts of developmental progress on the continent and have stories and enterprises that we seek to amplify.
Primary selection criteria for builder enterprises:
Must be an established legal entity already in operation for 6 months or more with demonstrable early traction evidenced in growing usage, revenue or other metrics (not a pitch or prototype). The business should have a website, tangible digital or physical product or picture of more than one successful event over more than 6 months.
Must be an innovative approach to serve unmet needs on the continent or address its challenges. The innovation must fit within the African cultural and socioeconomic context and cannot be a clone of a western technology or business solution without differentiation.
The entrepreneur must be able to attend the virtual enterprise development sessions provided by the African Management Institute.
The entrepreneur must be able to attend ADIS virtually or provide a video recording of their pitch presentation. The purpose of this criterion is to allow the community and our sponsors to meet our recipients.
Secondary considerations in selecting builders:
Balanced gender representation among entrepreneurs in recognition of the sizable portion of African women entrepreneurs.
Reasonable geographic distribution. Africa consists of 54 countries North, West, East, Central and Southern regions. Builders should represent a reasonable distribution across these regions.
Africa has several non-English speaking countries that we endeavor to represent, i..e there is a significant Francophone and Arabic bloc. (If selected, the AMI training will be conducted in English, therefore the applying enterprise needs to have an English speaking representative to benefit from the training.)
We seek impact and innovation across sectors so we should avoid over-indexing on any one of them - e.g. multiple agro or energy companies.
Africa’s development is two-pronged, leveraging both for-profit and nonprofit organizations alike. Our builders should represent both flavors of enterprise.
BAF Video Testimonials
Nkanyiso Kai Madlala
Founder, Energy Efficiency
Tabitha Arenson Abimiku
CEO & Founder, Virtuoso Pads
The 2023 Builders of Africa’s Future awardees will receive training from the African Management Institute of Kenya (AMI), have a platform to pitch their ventures, and an opportunity to attend the African Diaspora Investment Symposium in Silicon Valley.
Be mentored in a one-on-one or group setting and receive virtual support in preparation for the BAF pitch session
Participate in an enterprise training via virtual workshops provided by AMI
Receive the Builders of Africa’s Future Award at the ADIS23 symposium
Have a platform to share your journey and early successes as part of the virtual pitch presentation.
Receive complimentary tickets to ADIS2024. Travel assistance is available on an as needed basis.
Foster and seek partnership opportunities through access to the ADN network
Be featured in our newsletter, website, social media, and symposium program
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