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TotalEnergies to empower 100 African startups in 2024 Startupper challenge

TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies is set to support the growth of 100 promising startup ventures spanning 32 African countries, including Nigeria, as part of the fourth iteration of the ‘Startupper of the Year Challenge.’

According to the company during the virtual launch of the challenge recently, this is done to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Adesuwa Adewole, General Manager, TotalEnergies Country Services, stated that the fourth edition of the challenge reaffirms TotalEnergies’ commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and supporting the socio-economic development of African countries in which the company has a presence.

Read also: More gas to power homes as TotalEnergies stops gas flaring 7 years ahead

She added that the challenge strengthens the social fabric in local communities by helping the continent’s most innovative entrepreneurs carry out their projects; where 365 winners selected from among some 40,000 applications received, have been rewarded and supported worldwide since 2015.

She said: “For this 2024/2025 edition of the challenge, TotalEnergies will support, and reward 3 young entrepreneurs each from all 32 countries of presence, and 4 Pan African winners aged 18 to 35 who have a business creation project or a startup under three years old, in any business sector.

“A local jury comprised of experts, business leaders, startup ecosystem participants, local sustainability stakeholders and representatives from TotalEnergies Nigeria will also select three winners in: Innov’Up winner, for the best entrepreneur; Cycle’Up winner, for the best project relating to the circular economy; and Power’Up winner, for the best project relating to sustainable, affordable energy. Four additional projects in the Power’Up category will be selected by an international jury.

Read also: TotalEnergies profits slip in first quarter on lower gas prices

Adewole stated further that all project entries will be assessed against four criteria: Relevance to sustainable development challenges, innovation, feasibility and development potential, and respect for gender equality and inclusion of women in the project.

She said, “Each winner will become a ‘Startupper of the Year by TotalEnergies’ and will benefit from a monetary award of N8 million, personalised support, and a communication campaign to enhance their project’s visibility.

“Winners will also have the opportunity to promote their projects during a celebratory event, the details of which will be released at a later date.”

Read also: TotalEnergies Nigeria’s annual profit declines to N13bn

She said registration opens May 13, 2024, online, and applicants will then have until June 18, 2024, to complete their applications.

The challenge is aimed at startups younger than three years old or those spearheading innovative business ideas that contribute positively to their communities and/or the planet.

Charles Ebereonwu, Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies in Nigeria, said, “We have not attained 100 years before. Apart from celebrating 100 years, we have introduced new dimensions like your empowerment of women and equality. All entries will be subjected to whether they take into consideration these dimensions.”

He added that all project entries would be assessed against four criteria; relevance to sustainable development challenges, innovation, feasibility, and development potential as well as respect for gender equality and inclusion of women in the project.

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According to Ebereonwu, the challenge targets startups less than three years old or pioneering a business idea with a positive impact on their communities or the planet.

One of the past winners, Nonso Opurum of Soso Care, a low-cost insuretech, that aims to use recyclable garbage as a financial resource, highlighted how winning the challenge impacted his business.

He said, “This programme has been transformative for our business. It provided not only theoretical knowledge but also practical know-how. It is a great opportunity to learn, unwind, and get capital for business.”