ACCRA, Ghana, Nov 18 – Temie Giwa Tubosun has been crowned the winner of the inaugural African Netpreneur Prize Initiative during the Africa’s Business Heroes show held in Accra, Ghana.
Tubosun who founded LifeBank, a Nigerian Medical distribution start up, beat other 9 other startups across Africa where all the contestants pitched to a panel of judges which included Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, Econet Group Founder and Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, First Bank of Nigeria Chairman and The Chair Centre Group founder Ibukun Awosika and Alibaba Group Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai.
Tubosun was declared the winner on Sunday bagging a USD 250,000 cash award.
Her initiative uses data and technology to help health workers discover critical medical products so far saving over 5,300 lives in Nigeria.
The Africa Netprenuer Prize Venture was founded by Jack Ma. 10 entrepreneurs across Africa were competing for an opportunity to win prize monies totaling USD 1 million.
Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma said they were interested in a venture that was easy to understand and one that also made impact to the community.
“We love big ideas but we love those who solve problems and that are why we have to find the business that is simple, that has impact and that is profitable,” said Ma.
Speaking during a press conference after the event, Tubosun expressed her gratitude towards the Jack Ma Foundation for awarding her the top prize and giving her the grant.
“I am really proud of my team who are back in Nigeria, right now as I sit here, my team is delivering blood to needy people in Nigeria,” she said.
She further added that she would use her money to further grow her business and expand beyond Nigeria.
“I intend to use this money to expand my business across the African continent,” said the first winner of African’s Netprenuer Prize.
The top finalists were selected from more than 50 African countries for a period of 7 months where they put their best foot forward in convincing the judges that their initiatives were meant to change the lives of the different communities around them.
Omar Shoukry Sakr, who came in second, walked away with USD 150,000 for his business, Nawah Scientific, which is the first private research centre in the Middle East and North Africa region focused on natural and biomedical sciences.
25-year-old Christelle Kwazera, the youngest of the finalists who came in third place walked away with USD 100,000, which she said she would pump back into the business.
Contestants ranked in the 4th to 10th place went home with USD 65,000.