Mr. Ikenna Nzewi, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Releaf, a Nigerian based agritech startups has emerged the runner-up of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition, a flagship philanthropic programme organised by the Jack Ma Foundation.

As a runner-up, Ikenna also win $250, 000 funding to strengthen and expand Releaf’s operations in Nigeria and across Africa.

This year’s top three Africa’s Business Heroes are:

  • 1st – winning $300,000 – Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy – Founder, PraxiLabs (Egypt)
  • 2nd – winning $250,000 – Ikenna Nzewi – Co-founder and CEO, Releaf (Nigeria)
  • 3rd – winning $150,000 – Navalayo Osembo-Ombati – Co-founder and CEO, Enda Athletic (Kenya)

The three enterprenuers were rewarded for their skills, working to make a difference in their communities and helping to build a more sustainable, inclusive future. Now in its 3rd year, ABH is part of a 10-year’s commitment to support and foster Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the other seven finalists who make up the top 10 will each receive $100,000 in prize funding, and an additional $10,000 will be allocated to each finalist for a training program to be hosted in Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

Among them is Nigeria’s Oghenetega Iortim – Founder, Gricd (; and Chidi Nwaogu – Co-founder and CEO, Publiseer ( The winners emerged from a pool of over 12,000 applications received from all 54 countries in Africa. Finalists were chosen after several rounds of rigorous evaluation conducted by over 230 judges for 7 months.

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH), the flagship philanthropic programme for the Jack Ma Foundation, continues its commitment to addressing barriers to economic development and entrepreneurship across Africa.


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