Julius K. Satsi, GNA
Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - Total Petroleum has launched the second edition of the ‘Startupper of the Year Challenge’ to support business creation and development towards helping the boldest and most innovative entrepreneurs carry out their projects.
The Startupper of the Year Challenge for 2018-2019 is designed to support and reward young entrepreneurs up to 35years of age who have a project or have created a company in the past two years, regardless of the business sector.
Application for the 2018-2019 challenge will be opened on the startupper challenge website on Monday October 9, to receive application from interested Ghanaian and global entrepreneurs.
Mr Bright Dokosi, the Total Ghana Startupper Project Manager, said the challenge will go through six different stages from the call for application, to moderation, to share for likes, to selection, celebration of the awards and the coaching stage.
He said the call for application would start on October 9 and end in November 13, this year and that the celebration of awards would be held in March, next year.
Mr Eric Fanchini, the Managing Director of Total-Ghana, said the first edition launched in 2015 saw 34 African countries participating with 102 winning projects adding that the challenge in Ghana received 6000 application and led to three ultimate winners in the food processing industry.
He said the second edition of the challenge would see 55 countries participating and that in addition to the three ultimate winners, “we are going to select the Top Female Entrepreneur”.
Mr Fanchini said women accounted for almost 25 per cent of the winners globally and the company is willing to give women entrepreneurs an extra push as it aligned with other Total initiatives for women.
He said for this challenge, the three winners will receive financial support of up to GH¢180,000.00, extensive publicity and one-year coaching from mentors as well as the ultimate winner having the opportunity to compete at the regional level.
He said the petroleum products and renewable energy company was of the firm conviction that the ‘Startupper of the Year Challenge’ would be a rewarding adventure for society, as it sought to build young talents who are going to contribute the Ghanaian economy.
Mr Fanchini said the company is seeking to help the current employment situation through the challenge and other initiatives like Young Dealer Scheme and the Total Young Graduate Programme.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister for Employment and labour Relations, lauded Total Petroleum for the initiative saying it was a timely due to the huge unemployment rate in the country.
He said: “this initiative couldn’t have come at any better time when unemployment is at its highest level in recent time” adding that currently the unemployment rate was 11.9 per cent of 20.8 were amongst the youth.
Mr Baffour Awuah said the challenge fell in line with government’s objective of reducing unemployment rate in the country through the creation of jobs for the youth.
He said entrepreneurs are national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated as they could change the way we live and work.
He urged young people with business ideas or have started businesses in any field to take advantage of the initiative.
Madam Anne Sophie Avé, the French Ambassador to Ghana, said the Total Startupper Challenge is a step further in strengthening the ties between the two countries as France was committed to help young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.