Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought 29 young entrepreneurs from 11 countries across Africa to the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China for the third eFounders Fellowship cohort.
The eFounders Fellowship is part of a pledge by Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman and UNCTAD Special Adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business, to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years. Two hundred of these entrepreneurs will come from Africa, demonstrating Ma’s personal commitment to supporting entrepreneurs from the African continent and helping them to succeed in the digital world.
It supports UNCTAD’s and Alibaba’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, which include making sure no one is left behind in the digital economy. Both Jack Ma and Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, spent time with the fellows during their time in Hangzhou.
Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China.
The founders started Alibaba to champion small businesses, in the belief that the Internet would level the playing field by enabling small enterprises to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete more effectively in the domestic and global economies.
Today the multi billion dollars company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands and other businesses to leverage the power of the Internet to engage with their users and customers. It is also engaged in many business areas.