Lagos – MTN, the mobile network operator, and Jumia, Nigeria’s leading online shopping site, have partnered for a first-of-its-kind competition that is envisaged to build a stronger and more sustainable business environment across Africa.
Launched on Tuesday morning, the pan-African competition brings together over 1 000 entrepreneurs, students and investors, to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs.
Targeting more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa, the competition will challenge students to develop a unique digital application or smart solution that would ill solve tangible problems faced on the continent.
MTN’s Group Chief Digital Officer, Herman Singh, said the Entrepreneurship Challenge was 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,” said Singh.
Bankole Cardoso, Head of Communications at Jumia, said the competition would contribute to 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,” Cardoso said.
The winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia will win a cash prize of US$25 000 towards their start-up, and will also benefit from a yearlong partnership with Jumia.
The winner will also have access to a Facebook Start Program to the value of $15 000, which includes tools and services needed to build mobile applications.
In addition, 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 $5 000 towards their projects.
Applications for the first round of the multi-phased competition are open from today and will close on March 27.
The finalists will be announced on April 16.