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Nigerian Startup LifeBank Wins $250,000 Grant from Jack Ma Foundation

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian entrepreneur, has won $250,000 grant from Jack Ma foundation.

The entrepreneur emerged as the top winner of the foundation’s first annual prize for African businesses. The event took place in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday. Jack Ma, a Chinese investor, had started the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) with $1 million.

Giwa-Tubosun is the CEO of LifeBank, a Lagos-based blood and oxygen delivery company that connects registered blood banks to hospitals and patients in need of urgent blood supply. Speaking at the event, the entrepreneur said the prize will ensure the growth of LifeBank in  Nigeria and beyond.

“The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa,” she said.

In a tweet, she thanked the Chinese investor, adding that more work will be done. “Thank you Mr. Ma! Let them know that we are who we’ve been waiting for! We will continue to do the work and show them that greatness is evenly distributed!” she tweeted. Giwa-Tubosun established LifeBank in 2015 “to help reduce blood shortage in Nigeria”.

LifeBank provides records of blood banks across Lagos. It allows health centers to find the relevant blood types and order for delivery. The company delivers an average of 300 pints of blood a month to more than 170 hospitals across the state.

When he visited Nigeria earlier in the week, Jack Ma had expressed delight that Nigerian entrepreneurs were finalists in the competition.

“In the next few days we are going to have all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for an award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have a great result,” he had said.

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