The Startupper Challenge's third edition has begun. This was unveiled at a virtual press conference on Tuesday, October 26 to announce the project's start in Nigeria.
The Executive General Manager, TotalEnergies Country Services, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi who made this known to the media gave the criteria for entries and the process through which winners will emerge.
"The criteria for eligibility in the project are for young entrepreneurs between the ages 18 - 35 years who are Nigerians; ideas, projects or startups that are under three years and must be located in Nigeria. This will be evaluated on three major criteria's which includes innovation, an alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, and ability and development potential/viability. Beyond entrepreneurial challenge, the Startupper of the year reaffirms TotalEnergies commitment to supporting young African entrepreneurs and supporting the social economic development of Nigeria and other participating countries. It is reaffirmation of our commitment to capacity building," she said.
Mrs. Popoola-Mordi in her presentation informed participants of the expected winning positions: "For this edition, we will have three winners: Best Business Creation Project, Best Startup Under Three Years and the Best Female Entrepreneur. Why are we talking about the Best Female Entrepreneur? Because we want to encourage the winner to participate and promote the role that they continue to play in the society; we believe diversity is a great lever of innovation."
The EGM also revealed that each winner will receive N5 million in financial support, as well as individualized coaching, support, incubation, and media exposure for their firm.
Opeyemi Owosho, winner of the first edition in 2016, and Olumide Ogunbanjo, winner of the second edition in 2018, told their stories at the event.
Country Communications Manager, Dr. Charles Ebereonwu who compered the press conference remarked that: "The level of unemployment among the youths in Sub Sahara Africa is high and it is estimated that about 60% of youths are unemployed. Entrepreneurship has been identified as a key factor in curbing not only youth unemployment but widespread unemployment among the population."
TotalEnergies, he concluded, identified entrepreneurship as a crucial role in combating unemployment, creating money, and improving the life of Nigerians and others in the countries where the program is implemented.
The 3rd Startupper Challenge will open for entries on November 4, 2021, with the winners being announced in April 2022. The Nigerian Challenge winner will go on to represent the country at the Regional Africa level, where three Grand Winners will be chosen. The victors will be flown to Paris, France, for an intensive training program.
Senior Management and staff expressed support for the programme that runs across, upstream, midstream and downstream of TotalEnergies at the affiliate.
TotalEnergies S.E. Sustainable Development program Startupper Challenge promotes and stimulates entrepreneurship among youngsters in its affiliates.