APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service has announced that it has won a prestigious PRovoke Africa SABRE Award for the public relations campaign around Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition.
The ABH program (www.AfricaBusinessHeroes.org) is designed to promote entrepreneurship in Africa and empower the next generation of African business leaders. APO Group’s involvement in a dedicated Public Relations campaign in 2021 led to one of the most successful editions of the ABH Prize Competition ever and helped raise the profile of African entrepreneurship throughout the continent and beyond.
The PRovoke Africa SABRE Awards are Africa’s leading Public Relations Awards. Held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the 2022 SABRE Awards attracted more than 2000 entries from Public Relations agencies all over the continent. A jury of industry leaders chaired by PRovoke Media founder Paul Holmes was looking for campaigns that were brave, authentic, shareable, and caught the public imagination – and ABH ticked all of those boxes.
The ABH Prize is one of the Jack Ma Foundation’s key philanthropic initiatives, with a 10-year commitment to supporting the development of a new entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each year, ten finalists are selected from tens of thousands of applications to win a share of a $1.5 million prize pool in grant money.
Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, launched the ABH Prize after he made his first trip to Africa in 2017 and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.
Since 2020, APO Group has worked alongside the Jack Ma Foundation to execute a holistic campaign for the ABH Prize across the continent, while APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, has been a semi-final judge for the last two editions of the competition.
The work done by APO Group and the ABH team was voted the overall winner in the Northern Africa category of the 2022 SABRE Awards. The ABH Prize is a truly Pan-African campaign, reaching applicants all over the continent. APO Group’s team worked to provide a strategic media relations plan for ABH that would generate maximum media coverage and drive applications across Africa.
Despite the vast geographical challenges of the pandemic, the campaign was a huge success. Some of the highlights included: three large media events attended by hundreds of African media; an astounding 94 media interviews secured for ABH spokespeople, judges and entrepreneurs; and a social media promotion campaign that reached more than 29 million people.
This added up to one of the most successful ABH competitions ever with more than 20,000 quality applications, more female entrepreneurs than ever before, and every single African country represented.
“Africa’s Business Heroes is an ambitious project, and to cover all 54 African countries requires extensive Public Relations knowledge and expertise,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation. “Working with APO Group has always been delightful and effective, and we are thrilled that the campaign as well as the African entrepreneur community it represents, has received the recognition it deserved with this fantastic SABRE award.”
“The Jack Ma Foundation shares our vision for the future of business in Africa, and together our teams have worked tirelessly on raising the profile of the ABH Prize,” said APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard. “This campaign really caught the public imagination, and has shown the world the vast potential Africa has as a hub for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”