Through its program dubbed Startupper of the Year Challenge, Total Ethiopia S.C is providing financial and technical assistance to local young entrepreneurs who can come up with innovative business project proposals.
Allocated 25000 euors for three winning project ideas, total seeks to support young entrepreneurs striving to develop innovative business projects in Ethiopia.
Total Ethiopia on Wednesday launched the second Startupper of the Year Challenge at Golden Tulip Hotel. The company called up on young entrepreneurs to submit their applications in the coming five weeks.
During the launching ceremony Thibault Lesueur, Total Ethiopia managing director, said Total wants to support young entrepreneurs who can change the lives of their local communities. “We want to be close to ambitious entrepreneurs. They have ideas but they lack something. We want to help them to implement their project ideas. We support young entrepreneurs in developing their skills and creating jobs,” Lesueur said.
Total’s brand ambassador Haile Gebresillassie also said on the the occasion that Total is not just selling its products and services in Ethiopia but it has been involved in various corporate social responsibility initiatives. Haile urged young entrepreneurs to exploit the good opportunity offered by Total. The track star who talked about plagiarism urged young entrepreneurs to submit original business ideas.
In the 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year Challenge, Total will support and reward young local entrepreneurs who are developing business projects that are less than two years old. A local jury comprised of experts from Total, incubators, business leaders and other community stakeholders will select three winners.
According to Total, the projects will be assessed based on their innovative nature, social and community impact and feasibility and development potential. Each winner will be awarded the “Startupper of the Year by Total” label and receive financial support of 12,500 euro (1st place), 7,500 euro (2nd place), and 5,000 euro (3rd place). In addition to the financial support, the winners will receive professional coaching and extensive publicity to advertise their projects. To support women entrepreneurs, the jury will also designate a Top Female Entrepreneur.
Total held the first edition of the Startupper of the Year challenge in 2015-2016 and awarded financial prizes for three young entrepreneurs. The second winner Biniyam Tesfaye who received 7500 euros established a solar charger manufacturing plant in Addis Ababa. His company called Winsol (Wining Solar) has sold 5000 solar chargers and today employs 30 young people. The solar chargers are used to light bulbs and charge mobile phones in rural areas.
Biniyam said he first managed to build his own solar panel and charger at home. “When I first came to Total’s challenge, I had no penny but I had a business idea,” he said. Today his company has ten million birr capital. An electrical engineer by profession Biniyam received marketing training from Total Challenge.
Young entrepreneurs are expected to submit their application by November 13, 2018 for the second edition of Startupper of the Year Challenge 2018-2019.