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Africa's Business Heroes Application Workshop II

Competition applications require a significant amount of time and practice to be able to reflect your business authentically and valuably. The SA Innovation Summit hosts application support workshops as a partner with the African Business Heroes 2021 competition to give applicants the dos and don’ts to best position themselves in the application.

Did you join the application support workshop on the 13th of May 2021? If you missed it or would like to review the session we have the video below for you.

African business heroes stand a chance to win: 

  • A share of $1.5 million – there are 10 cash prizes to be won.
  • Access to world-class mentorship and training.
  • Networking opportunities with leading businesspeople.
  • Televised media exposure across the continent.

Highlights from the speakers: 

Joan Nalubega, CEO & Founder of Uganics and 2020 Top 10 finalist shared some wisdom with us and had this to say to applicants: “Just give it a try! This is an experience you are going to learn from. When you apply, it becomes very competitive but choosing to bet on yourself can make your dreams come true.”


Audrey Verhaeghe and special guest Joan Chawapiwa, who are both Angel Investors with Dazzle Angels joined us to share some reflections from investors on applications. Audrey and Jean discussed some tips for businesses to look at when pitching.

Audrey Verhaeghe, Founder & Chairperson SA Innovation Summit:

  • Take your time to raise interest in the application form.
  • Communicate your research and insights with clear thoughts.
  • Research your competitors thoroughly.
  • Stand out from the crowd.
  • Make sure your intellectual property is well set-out.


Jean Chawapiwa, Founder Win Win Solutions 4 Africa:

  • Remember that people invest in people.
  • Be clear on the problem you are solving, and the solution are you bringing forward to it.
  • Present your business as unique.
  • Make sure you’ve got good financial reporting.
  • Have a great pitch deck.
  • Understand your pricing inside-out.


Buntu Majaja, Director SA Innovation Summit:

Having a consistent story aligned to ABH values is the core of your application. Write like the story you are.

Every written response should contribute to your application story based on the ABH values. Every story has five parts to it:

  1. There is a problem and a desire.
  2. There is a hero, that is you.
  3. Going on an adventure to build a company.
  4. Talk about the adventure and the details of the business.
  5. And then project its success into the future.

Questions & Answers

For Audrey:

What is needed by investors with regard to documentation when looking at a business. What do they want to see?

Investors want to know that there’s a scalable market because they put money into your business, and they want to multiply that money through you.

How do I map out my growth strategy and plan for it financially?

It’s quite a bit of work, you look at what you’ve done until now. Understand your business needs and when you start working on your projection plan it should be for at least three years. Do the math, what do you need and what are the costs aligned to that. Your growth plan is essentially your business plan put into a cash flow plan, balance sheet and a budget.

For Buntu:

Do I have to have African citizenship? If my business is based in Africa but the main operations are outside of Africa can I still apply?

• You must be an African citizen, or one of your parents are African citizens, or one of your grandparents are African citizens to qualify on this point. • This means you are a citizen of any African country and not a permanent resident or in the process of assimilation of that country.

Does my business need to have a 2-3 revenue track record?

Yes, if you have 3 years of revenue, you can apply. You do not need to have started making revenue from the year you were incorporated – you just need to show three distinct years of revenue in your financials. They do not need to be consecutive years.

After I’ve completed my application and evaluated it what happens then? For my pitch do I have to travel anywhere or is everything happening online?

• Once you have submitted, you may begin to celebrate completing the first step. • Then your application will be screened for completeness. • Once your application meets the completeness requirements this will be confirmed to you by email and your application will move to round 1 judging. • The round 1 judges will review the applications from mid-June to mid-July. Making it to this point means that you will have the benefit of receiving written feedback from round 1 judging whether you make it to the next round or not. • If you make it to the next round, you will then receive a confirmation to have made it to the top 50 finalists in July. • Successful applicants here will move to round 2 judging where they will be screened through video interviews and selected for the top 20. • The top 20 will then receive mentorship and preparation training for the semi-finale. • Before the semi-finale, the top 20 will undergo due diligence in September. • Successful participants from the semi-finale will be chosen as the top 10 in September and therefore pitch at the grand finale in November.

Missed the Application Workshop?  Please watch the full video recording below.

Do you know any thriving African entrepreneur who could benefit from this competitionPlease let them know of this amazing opportunity. 

For more information and to apply, please visit this page: 


Applications close on 7 June 2021 !


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