MTN in partnership with the MTN Solution Space and Jumia has launched the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge across Africa.
The competition, which is powered by Jumia, a leading online shopping platform in Africa, is expected to be the first of its kind on the continent, bringing together over 1,000 entrepreneurs including students and investors to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs, an MTN statement said.
According to the statement, the competition will target more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa including Liberia and will challenge students to develop a unique digital application or smart solution that will solve a tangible problem faced on the continent.
Speaking at the launch of the program yesterday, MTN’s Group Chief Digital Officer, Herman Singh, says 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,” Mr. Sigh stated.
For his part, Lonestar Cell MTN’s CEO, Babatunde Osho, has admonished all university students to take advantage of the entrepreneurship challenge.
He believes this competition is a better opportunity for young entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations and explore greater opportunities for success.
Mr. Osho said 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 yearlong 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 and 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 applications,” he added.
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.
Applications for the first round of the multi-phased competition are open and will close on 27 March 2016. Aspiring entrepreneurs from participating universities can enter in teams by logging to: ontowww.gsb.uct.ac.za/MTNECbyJumia .