MTN, in partnership with the MTN Solution Space and Jumia, has proudly announced the launching of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia for all Africans.
The launching, which is set to take place today, will be the first of its kind in Africa, bringing together over 1000 entrepreneurs, students and investors, to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs.
To achieve this, the Pan-African is targeting more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa. Students will be challenged to develop a unique digital application or smart solution that will solve a tangible problem faced on the continent.
According to the Manager of the MTN Solution Space Sarah-Anne Arnold, the competition aims at developing a unique African solutions and Africa, being a continent full of promises, achieving their aim is paramount. “We believe that the entrepreneurship challenge is a key element of this. The response and willingness from universities across Africa to collaborate on this initiative has been truly remarkable and certainly exemplifies the impact of collective efforts to foster entrepreneurship among our next generation of business leaders,” she added.
Further more, MTN’s Group Chief Digital Officer, Herman Singh, said the company is proud to both sponsor and endorse the initiative.
“The Entrepreneurship Challenge is strongly aligned to MTN’s own entrepreneurial culture and history as well as our values as a business. We believe inspiration of new business leaders in Africa and their enablement to success, will be key drivers for the future rapid evolution of a broader start-up culture on the continent. This is an environment already teeming with excellent potential and we hope to assist in accelerating its further growth and to raise MTN’s role in creating new businesses in Africa,” says Singh.
However, applications will be judged by campus captains, who are successful entrepreneurs in their respective market. Shortlisted teams will then move on to a live pitching phase at their selected universities between 1-8 April 2016, after which the final five projects will be selected to move through to the Semi-Final.
Those who were able to make it to the final, will be announced on the 16th of April 2016 and the successful teams will be importuned to attend the Entrepreneurship festival, that will be hosted at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in South Africa come May 27 2016.
A whooping sum of US $25 000 will be also given to the winning team of the Entrepreneurship Challenge. The team will also benefit from a yearlong partnership with Jumia, where they will have the opportunity to work from any of Jumia’s offices across Africa. By so doing, the they will be mentored by experienced and successful entrepreneurs in the Jumia network.
The winner will also have access to a Facebook Start Program to the value of US $15 000, which includes tools and services needed to build mobile application. Added to this, they will have the opportunity to work from the MTN Solution Space at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. The two runners-up will each receive US $5 000 towards their projects.
The is therefore said to be helping in building a stronger and more sustainable business environment across Africa. Its main goal is to boost and fuel African entrepreneurship by enabling young and smart entrepreneurs to kick off with their own projects. The key for us is to give full and adapted support to young talents, from funding to mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs,” Bankole Cardoso, Head of Communications from Jumia said.
Applications for the first round of the multi-phased competition are open until 27 March and all aspiring entrepreneurs who are students of the participating universities are to log on to www.gsb.uct.ac.za/MTNECbyJumia