Introduction

When Jack Ma visited Africa in 2017, he saw a continent facing many of the same challenges that Alibaba had managed to overcome in the last 15 years in China. eCommerce operations flanked by payments, logistics, tourism and big data platforms are starting to take shape and create value in unique markets across Africa and the rest of the developing world.

As a Special Advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Jack recognized that by applying ideas from China’s most innovative businesses to their own ventures, participants will have the opportunity to innovate in their home countries. With this opportunity in mind, the eFounders Fellowship was created to find and empower 1000 platform builders who can leverage Alibaba’s experience in China.

Become an agent of change in your community & economy

 

Course Overview

underline

The eFounders Fellowship is a two-week course for entrepreneurs in developing countries who are operating open, platform-based businesses in the ecommerce, logistics, big data, and tourism spaces. The program will provide first-hand exposure to and learning about ecommerce innovations from China and around the world that enabled growth and a more inclusive development model for all.

With a focus on highlighting breakthrough innovations that have transformed society in China, the program will inspire each participant to think of creative frameworks based on prior expertise and new learnings that can be applied to their own home markets.

Participating entrepreneurs will be given the tools to improve their own ventures, but as ‘New Economy’ pioneers they will be expected to serve as network builders and champions of new ways to approach commerce in their own markets. UNCTAD and Alibaba believe these entrepreneurs can spread powerful new ideas around the world by creating impactful communities and empowering their peers. 

The course targets young entrepreneurs as part of an initiative on the digital economy for sustainable development that is jointly organized by the Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

 

Course Objectives

✓ Identify and select high-potential entrepreneurs who can become industry champions and builders of a new e-commerce ecosystem in their country;
✓ Empower the participants to not only apply the gained knowledge in their home countries but also mobilize and inspire others to embrace the new economy paradigm; 
✓ Create a local community of e-commerce champions who can support one another and continue to nurture the development of their ecosystems to ensure a measurable and sustainable impact within their markets.

 

Class 3: eFounders Fellowship (Africa) - Applications NOW CLOSED

underline

Application Deadline:
May 4th, 2018 (2pm China UTC+8)

Program Schedule:
June 19th - 29th, 2018

Location:
Alibaba Xixi Campus - Hangzhou, China 

Class Size:
There will be 40 places available

Candidates must be:
• Entrepreneurs in the digital and technology space operating open platforms related to eCommerce, Logistics, Fintech, Big Data or Tourism;
• Authentic, open-minded and altruistic leaders of the new economy;
• At an inflection point in their careers;
• Looking to move from success to significance with integrity, vision and drive;
Founders or co-founders of an officially registered digital technology venture in a country in Africa;
• Female entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to apply.
• Under the age of 35 preferred;

 

The course will consist of a structured series of classroom workshops and lectures, site visits and a business hackathon and will primarily be held at Alibaba Group Headquarters in Hangzhou with site visits in other cities in China.

Upon completion of the course, participants are expected to make a commitment to share knowledge gained with their communities.

While the course tuition, accommodation and meals will be covered for selected candidates, participants will be expected to apply and pay for their visa application and travel to and from Hangzhou, China. A letter of support for a visa request will be provided by UNCTAD to facilitate the visa application process. Once in China, the Alibaba Group will arrange lodging and transportation during the course.

Applications must be received by May 4th, 2018 at 2 p.m. China time (GMT+8)
Should you have any questions, please write to unctadyouth@unctad.org .

 

  • Class 2: eFounders Fellowship (Asia)

    We take an enjoyable look back at the highlights from class 2 of the eFounders Fellowship. 37 entrepreneurs from 7 countries across southeast Asia came together to learn, experience China and share their goals as they begin their journey to becoming champions of the new digital economy in their respective regions.

    read more →
  • Class 1: eFounders Fellowship (Africa)

    Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD welcomed inaugural class of 24 Africa-based entrepreneurs to China for two-week intensive course on e-commerce.

    Soundbites from African entrepreneurs for the eFounders Initiative--Catherine Mahugu, Founder of Soko(www. Shopsoko.com) and Henry N.A Cobblah, Co-founder & Lead Developer of Ahwenepa.com.

    read more →
  • Jack Ma and UNCTAD with youth in Africa

    UNCTAD Special Adviser for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business explores opportunities with African youth and businesses to participate in global trade and raises awareness of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    read more →