The Pan-African MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge will be the first of its kind in Africa, bringing together more than 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 will solve a tangible problem faced on the continent.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Jumia to launch the entrepreneurship challenge. Africa is a continent of promise, and our aim with the MTN Solution Space has always been to help fulfil this promise by developing uniquely African solutions,” said Sarah-Anne Arnold, Manager of the MTN Solution Space.
“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.”
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 in the 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,” he commented.
Applications for the first round of the multi-phased competition are open from today and will close on 27 March, 2016. Aspiring entrepreneurs from participating universities can enter in teams by logging onto www.gsb.uct.ac.za/MTNECbyJumia.
The winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge will win a cash prize of US$25,000 towards their start-up, and will also benefit from a year long partnership with Jumia, where they will have the opportunity to work from any of Jumia’s offices across Africa. This will enable the winner to learn from, and be mentored by experienced and successful entrepreneurs in the Jumia network. The winner will also have access to a Facebook Start Programme to the value of US$15,000. 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 US$5,000 towards their projects.
“Jumia is proud to unveil a new dimension of MTN partnership both aiming at promoting youth unemployment and fostering entrepreneurship. We take pride in building and harnessing potentials not only to create successful business leaders but also to ultimately improve the whole ecosystem through direct job creations. MTN EC by Jumia will propel young talents to feats across Africa by creating a seamless platform for teeming Africa youths to kick-start their projects; which is one of several key initiatives to give back to the community,” commented Fatoumata Ba, Managing Director, Jumia Nigeria.
“This competition will 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,” said Bankole Cardoso, Head of Communications from Jumia.
Read our recent interview with Jumia in Africa Outlook here.