Total Petroleum Ghana Limited has launched the second edition of the ‘Startupper of the Year’ competition.
The competition is designed to unearth budding entrepreneurs in the country to help advance the socio-economic development of the country. The launch of the entrepreneurship-based challenge took place at the Labadi Beach Hotel, on Friday, October 5.
The ‘Startupper of the Year’ challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs who are 35-years-old and below and have a business not more than two years, to grow their brand with mentoring and financial support. Mr. Eric Fanchini, the Managing Director of Total Ghana Limited indicated that the first edition of their flagship challenge was in 2015 and saw 34 African countries participating.
He added that there were 102 winning projects and stressed on the fact that some 6000 applications were received from Ghana alone with 3 ultimate winners from the food processing industry being picked as winners. To attest to the fact that the competition had caught the eye of many people, Mr. Eric Fanchini said that the 2018/2019 edition ‘Startupper of the Year’ was going to see participation from 55 countries.
However, he added that this year’s edition had a special category for women which was going to see one of the women adjudged the “Top Female Entrepreneur”. Mr. Fanchini, in explaining the addition said that women contributed almost 25% of winners globally so Total Petroleum Ghana Limited was willing to give women in entrepreneurship an extra push.
According to Mr. Fancini, the three winners for this year’s challenge were going to share a cash pot of GHC 180,000, extensive publicity and also be mentored for a year. The ultimate winner was however going to go on to represent Ghana and participate at the regional level of the competition. Mr. Eric Fancini added that the challenge was serving as Total Petroleum Ghana Limited’s Corporate Social Responsibility to support young entrepreneurs and also help the current employment situation the country was facing. Total Petroleum Ghana Limited’s MD also noted that the ‘Startupper’ challenge was not the only initiative started by the petroleum company to create jobs and make life easy for others. Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations who was presented at the launch, was full of praise of the initiative and added that it came at the opportune time to contribute positively to Ghana’s unemployment woes.
The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations added that the ‘Startupper of the Year’ challenge was in line with government’s efforts to reduce unemployment through the creation of jobs for the youth. According to Ignatius Baffour Awuah, entrepreneurs were priced national assets and was of the conviction that giving them the necessary support could see them change the way we lived and worked in the country. The French Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Anne Sophie Avé, also graced the launch. In her speech, she indicated that Total’s ‘Startupper of the Year’ competition was one of many ways in which France and Ghana were strengthening the ties between the two countries.
Madam Anne Sophie Avé, added that France was going to keep supporting innovative Ghanaians to rise to the top. In explaining the process for the upcoming competition, Mr Bright Dokosi, the Project Manager of the ‘Startupper’ challenge said that the website was going to start accepting entries from entrepreneurs from Monday, October 9, 2018.
He said the challenge was going to go through six phases including call for application, moderation, share for likes, selection, celebration of the award and coaching. He said the application process was going to end on November 13, 2018 and the celebration of award would be held in March 2019.
Also present at the launch of the 2018/2019 ‘Startupper of the Year’ were the brand ambassador for Total Petroleum Ghana, Mr Stephen Appiah (Former Captain of the Black Stars), the CEO of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Duah. The ultimate winner of the previous edition of the challenge, Mr Joseph Ayinbora, was also present at the launch and encouraged all Ghanaian entrepreneurs who qualified to participate in the challenge.