Africa’s mobile service carrier market leader MTN has partnered with online marketplace Jumia to bring developers from across the continent one of a kind Entrepreneurship Challenge. A challenge will task developers to come up with innovative applications that tackle a common problem on the continent.
Dubbed the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia, this challenge is sponsored by the MTN Solution Space and Jumia. It is a pan-African challenge that will bring together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, students, and investors, to collaborate and come up with solutions that will scale up entrepreneurship across the continent.
The challenge is targeting to enroll developers from more than 60 universities in 13 different countries on the continent. This challenge will task students to develop unique apps or smart solutions that will address challenges faced in Africa.
“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 fulfill this promise by developing unique African solutions,” said Sarah-Anne Arnold, the Manager of MTN Solution Space.
“We believe that the entrepreneurship challenges is a key element on 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.”
Herman Singh, the MTN’s Group Chief Digital Office said the telecom is proud to sponsor and endorse this entrepreneurship challenge. Sing says:
“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 future growth and to raise MTN’s role in creating new businesses in Africa.”
The first round of application in a multi-phased competition is already open, and will remain open until March 27. Aspiring entrepreneurs wishing to participate in this MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge can register at this link.
The campus captains judges will vet all applicants; these judges are successful entrepreneurs in their respective markets. Teams that will get shortlisted will move on to the next stage, where they will pitch their product to a live audience and judges are selected universities between April 1-8, 2016.
From here five teams will be picked to proceed to the Semi-Finals stage of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge. The finalist will be announced on April 16, 2016.
The successful teams will be rewarded with a trip to the Entrepreneurship Festival hosted in South Africa at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business on May 27. The festival will be marked with over a thousand attendees with prominent and innovative speakers and workshop experts from across the world.
The finalist will be given the opportunity to pitch their business in a room full of successful entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, judges, and international media. From this stage, the winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge will be announced.
The winner will walk away with $25,000 and a yearlong partnership with Jumia; they will get the chance to work from any Jumia offices across the continent. This opportunity will enable them to learn more and get mentorship from experienced and successful entrepreneurs that run within the Jumia network.
They will also get access to a Facebook Start Program worth $15,000 that includes all the tools and services they will need to build mobile applications. Additionally, they will get the opportunity to work with the MTN Solution Space at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Last but not least, the two runners-up will also be given $5,000 each for 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,” says Bankole Cardoso, Head of Communications from Jumia.