africa | July 26, 2017

Jack Ma backs young African entrepreneurs with $10 million fund

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Jack Ma is backing young African entrepreneurs with a new $10 million fund.

The founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba announced his African Young Entrepreneurs Fund at the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda. It was the first visit to the continent for Ma, who is worth more than $35 billion.

“African entrepreneurs should not be asking successful businesses, ‘How can I distribute your products?’ said Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which is working with Ma. “Africans should be saying, ‘I have an idea I want to grow — how can you help me to grow it? How can you help me market it?’”

Ma also wants to partner with African universities to teach internet technology, artificial intelligence and e-commerce and bring 200 African entrepreneurs to China, to learn hands on from Alibaba.