Lagos — TotalEnergies has announced the beginning of the Startupper of the Year challenge for 2021.
The competition, first introduced in 2016, will see African youths and entrepreneurs send in their business ideas for the 3rd edition, which the newly rebranded energy firm said would focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, SGDs.
Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, Executive General Manager, TotalEnergies Country Services while speaking with journalists at a virtual briefing on Tuesday, said the competition was created to promote local talents in Nigeria and Africa.
According to her, the three winners for this year’s competition would get not only financial support of up to N5, 000, 000 each, but would also be exposed to international standard business coaching, mentorship and networking opportunities.
“It would gladden hearts to know that TotalEnergies challenge is unique not because of the financial support, but because winners will get business coaching, mentorship and networking opportunities, including media visibility,” she said.
The international energy firm with a strong presence in Nigeria’s energy sector, has been in the country for 65 years and counting.
Explaining further, she said the company’s unwavering presence is a proof of its commitment to development in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.
“After the Nigerian leg is concluded, the completion moves to the continental leg. We expect all African countries to participate in the competition, after which winners will be announced in April, 2022”, she said.
The first and second editions of the competition were held in 2016 and 2018 respectively. In the inaugural year, more than 11 000 applications were received, with 6642 meeting the challenging requirements. In all, 102 innovators were selected as winners with their solutions ranging from health, ecommerce to education.
Popoola-Mordi also revealed that a separate category has been created for women entrepreneurs as a way of encouraging women participation.
In addition, the startup founder or project owners must not be more than 35-years old while their solutions must demonstrate feasibility and have the potential to benefit the broader public.
Interested candidates can visit www.startupper.totalenergies.com to apply.