TotalEnergies Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to driving entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, noting that entrepreneurs are vital to solving the continent’s economic problems.
The Managing Director, TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria Plc, Samba Salfal Seye, said Nigeria like all other countries on the continent, is faced with challenges of poverty, youth unemployment and lack of infrastructure critical for economic development, maintaining that Nigeria is blessed with entrepreneurs whose ideas can address some of the economic challenges it faces.
Seye at the award ceremony for the top three finalists of the third edition of its Startupper challenge said the company’s vision for the Startupper challenge is to support young entrepreneurs in Africa to solve Africa’s economic problems.
“However, no one organisation can do it alone. That is why TotalEnergies is urging other corporate bodies as well as well-meaning wealthy Nigerians to join in identifying and supporting young entrepreneurs. Nigeria has massive human resources, youthful and agile. It also has the market,” he said.
He said the Startupper Challenge was designed to support and reward young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 that have created a company in the past two years.
According to him, it reaffirms TotalEnergies’ commitment to supporting the socio-economic development of the countries in which the company operates in Africa.
“We are happy with this development which underlines the fact that our women are not waiting for anyone to empower them, they are demonstrating that they have all it takes to excel, in an environment of equal opportunities,” he said.
The award ceremony saw three winners of the third edition of its Startupper of the Year Challenge with three categories painstakingly selected by a jury made up of experts and successful entrepreneurs from 15 top finalists.
They were assessed based on their innovative character, feasibility and development potential in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the United Nations.
The winners were rewarded with N5 million financial support each, personalised coaching and mentoring, networking opportunities as well as media visibility.
The winners are: ‘Best Business Creation Project’ category won by Michael Osumune of Smart Inverter Systems, designed to provide solar electricity, wireless internet access and AI-enabled security surveillance for households and businesses with a mobile application.
The ‘Best Startup Under Three Years Old’ was won by Nonso Opurum of Soso Care, a low-cost insurtech, which aims to enable millions of uninsured Nigerians access to health insurance using recyclables as a premium.
Also, the ‘Best Female Entrepreneur’ was won by Rebecca Adeosun of Organic Cycle, an application developed for users to trade organic wastes, e-training intending black soldier fly farmers and sales of black soldier fly products after production.
The winners from Nigeria would compete with their peers from 32 African countries for the three grand prizes of Grand Winner, Best Business Creation, Grand Winner, Best Startup Under three years old and Grand Winner, Best Female Entrepreneur.
One of the winners, Michael Osumune commended TotalEnergies for the initiative, saying that African challenges can only be solved by Africans while calling on other corporate organisations to emulate TotalEnergies’ drive to support young Nigerians with innovative and sustainable solutions to solve Nigeria’s unemployment situation.