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5 North African Startups Selected For Jack Ma's EFounders Fellowship

Entrepreneurs from Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia were selected among 29 African entrepreneurs for Alibaba and UNCTAD's eFounders Fellowship in China.

Out of 29 tech entrepreneurs from 11 African countries, an Algerian, two Egyptians, and another two Tunisians participated in the third cohort of the eFounders Fellowship in Hangzhou, China between 19 and 29 June. The programme is run by e-commerce tycoon Alibaba and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 

During the two-week programme, mentors walked the fellows through the transformative impact that e-commerce and technology had on China. When Alibaba was founded back in 1999, the company faced many of the same barriers and lack of infrastructure that entrepreneurs in Africa face today. “Together with UNCTAD, we want to empower Africa’s young entrepreneurs not to only succeed in their own ventures, but to return home and demonstrate to others how to build inclusive business models for the digital era," says Jack Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Jack is also an UNCTAD Special Adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business, and has pledged to empower 1000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years; 200 of whom are Africans.

From Algeria, Taoufik Mousselmal has been selected to represent his startup Maisonmaligne, an e-commerce platform using AI tools to feed and optimise its catalogue into different marketplaces such as Amazon and Cdiscount, and is looking to establish partnerships with manufacturers based in North Africa.

Whereas from Egypt, Hany Girgis attended as the founder of Masry Market, an online platform helping consumers find local alternatives to everyday products at competitive prices while supporting local small businesses. Masry Market aims to capture the newly formed market gap, following Egypt's financial crisis, and meet untapped demand by creating an online platform whereby consumers can easily find local alternatives to everyday products at competitive prices. 

The other Egypt-based entrepreneur is Hatem Ayoub, who was at the fellowship to represent his travel startup Tripdizer, which is a travel marketplace that claims to provide a unique, hassle-free, and affordable travel experience. With a combination of travel experts’ advice and recommendations, with an intuitive, one-stop-shop web-portal will deliver a dynamic, interactive, vertically integrated solution, one that allows users to quickly and comfortably arrange their ideal travel experience.

From Tunisia, E-Taxi's Sadok Ghanouchi, a cab-hailing service that connects its users with local taxi drivers via different digital platforms (website, application, phone) while securing their deals with a geolocation feature similar to those used in Uber and Careem. Their target audience are businesspeople, hotel residents, and restaurant-goers. 

Also from Tunisia, Sami Tounsi of Monresto, a last-mile food logistics platform connecting customers with local food vendors, restaurants, and independent drivers in a one-stop shop marketplace for on-demand food services.

Main Image: Jack Ma in last year's fellowship. 

 


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