Ketshaphaone Jacob, founder and CEO of The Bulb World, has been nominated for Africa’s Business Heroes 2021 edition, Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic programme in Africa to support entrepreneurs.
From the 120 000+ submitted from 54 countries, Jacob has made it into the Top 20 finalists after going through a rigorous nomination process where the 12000+ were narrowed down to 800, then to Top 50, which entailed Round One of an online review of submitted applicants to determine the Top 50.
Each of the applications were reviewed by two judges while the Top 50 finalists were determined by the average scores of all applications. It then went on to a second round that included video calls with two established business leaders who engaged the enterprising nominees in an hour and a half indepth assessment of the company. The top 20 was then determined by the average scores of all 50 finalists.
Commenting on what the nomination meant to him and his company, Jacob said being nominated as an African Business Hero will get the world affiliated with The Bulb World brand, which will in turn support their desired growth and expansion plans into the continent.
“Being in the Top 50 gave us access to fellow entrepreneurs across the continent,” he noted. “We are already receiving enquiries on prospective distribution partnerships. Making it to the Top 20 wasn’t an easy task. Like my entrepreneurship journey, it has been humbling. But to receive recognition of this magnitude augments my passion for entrepreneurship and is a personal reminder that all my team’s efforts have not been in vain.”
Jacob stands to benefit amongst other things global recognition and exposure and access to funding for business growth, among other things. Should he make it to the Top 10, he stands a chance of winning a share of $1.5 million in grant funding, access to experienced mentorship/training and connections, and acess to an entrepreneur ecosystem and to the African market, which is in-line with his company’s desired expansion plan.
Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic programme in Africa to support entrepreneurs with a mission to showcase and grow local talent who are creating a positive impact on their communities and beyond, and inspiring a movement of African entrepreneurship.
Over a 10-year period, the programme will recognise 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant funding, training programmes, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.