Builders of Africa’s Future


Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) is a session that celebrates innovation and impact in early stage African enterprise. BAF serves to showcase and award entrepreneurs who are running early stage for-profit and not-for-profits that are addressing Africa’s unique needs through technology or differentiated business models. These unique needs are in health, education, energy, financial inclusion, gender inclusion, nutrition, commerce, industrial development, and other socio-economic good.


Who are Builders?

Founders and executives of companies that meet the above description represent the stories we want the community to learn about developmental progress on the continent. These enterprises and their leaders are our builders. Selection criteria for builder enterprises


  1. 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.

  2. Must be serving a need applicable to Africa’s socio-economic and climate – i.e. leverage Africa’s resources in agro, human capital, etc. or addresses its challenges (cannot be a clone of a western technology or business solution without differentiation).

  3. The entrepreneur must be able to attend ADIS in person or virtually (exceptions will only be made for last-minute travel conflicts). The purpose of this criterion is to allow the community and our sponsors to meet our recipients.
Secondary considerations in selecting builders

  1. Balanced gender representation among entrepreneurs. A sizeable portion of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women so our recipients must represent this.

  2. Reasonable geographic distribution. Africa consists of 54 countries North, West, East, Central and Southern regions. Builders should represent a reasonable distribution across these regions.

  3. Africa has several non English speaking countries that we should endeavor to represent, the Francophone bloc being the largest.

  4. 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.

  5. Africa’s development is two pronged, leveraging both for-profit and non profits alike. Our builders should represent both flavors of enterprise.

What can Builders expect from ADIS?

Builders of Africa’s Future is intended to provide recognition (via an award) and a platform (via a presentation) so that the community can learn about the early successes of these enterprises.

To support these two objectives (1) Recognition and (2) Platform, Builders will:

  1. Be given 5 minutes to share their journey and early successes, as well as any partnership opportunities with the symposium.

  2. Be offered a several-day entrepreneurship training and mentoring opportunity either in-person or virtually.

  3. Be featured in our newsletter and symposium agenda before the event and in our newsletters and on social media after the event.

Entrepreneurship Programs Manager Position