Total fuels entrepreneurs

HARARE - Three entrepreneurs have won $35 000 seed capital to kick-start their businesses in the Total Zimbabwe “Startupper challenge” competitions which concluded in Harare last week.

The contest, which seeks to unearth and support young and budding entrepreneurs with financial packages and coaching packages, was  launched in the last quarter of 2015.

Overall winner Mkhululi Ncube received $18 000 for his tomato value-adding project while first and second runners up Mercy Manyuchi and Tawanda Chikosi walked away with $10 000 and $7 000 respectively.

Total Zimbabwe managing director Chris Okonmah said his company, which received more than 230 entries from young people, was committed to contribute towards the country’s economic growth by supporting entrepreneurs with viable business projects.

“The aim of the challenge, which was also launched in other countries where Total operates, is to see young entrepreneurs take an active role in developing the local economy and to become less reliant on imports,” he said.

Okonmah noted that Africa needs local solutions to tackle current challenges but youths lacked financial support and opportunities to realise their projects.

He added that the petroleum giant would like to see many young people contributing positively to the development of Zimbabwe’s economy.

The “Startupper of the Year by Total” Challenge held in 34 African countries is part of Total’s overall policy of supporting the socio-economic development of all its host countries worldwide.

It is a very concrete initiative to help strengthen the industrial base and employment opportunities in the participating countries by helping the boldest and innovative entrepreneurs carry out their projects.

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