The Finale connected 13 global locations and provided the 10 finalists an opportunity to stepp onto the virtual stage to pitch their businesses and entrepreneurial visions to a panel of distinguished judges: Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Lucy Peng, Executive Chairwoman of Lazada Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group
In addition, Graça Machel, Chair of the Graça Machel Trust Board; and Academy Award winner and UNSDG advocate Forest Whitaker addressed the finalists to congratulate them on their achievements. NBA Hall of Fame inductee and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo announced the winners of the “People’s Choice Award”: Ethel Mupambwa (Moneymart), Aboubakar Karim (INVESTIV), and Dr. Emma Naluyima Mugerwa (MST Junior School). The “People’s Choice Award” drew over 100,000 votes over the course of a few weeks.
Our judges provided significant feedback to each of the finalists who impressed them with their resilience, passion, innovativeness and maturity. The judges whittled down the ten finalists to four finalists who they were most impressed with to engage in 30-minute roundtable discussions where the judges engaged in a deep dive discussion to thoroughly interrogate all aspects of the finalist’s business and their own character and motivations. From that process, the judges identified the top three finalists in the following order:
These three finalists are inspiring examples of the dynamism and promise of Africa’s young entrepreneurs.